What is Viekira Pak?
Viekira Pak is a combination of the hepatitis C drugs paritaprevir, ritonavir, ombitasvir and dasabuvir. These drugs work by reducing the amount of hepatitis C virus in the body by preventing the virus from multiplying, which may slow down the disease.
In the U.S., Viekira Pak is approved for people with hepatitis C genotype 1 who are over 18 years old. Viekira Pak is manufactured by AbbVie Inc., and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2014.
FDA Warning: Viekira Pak May Increase Risk of Liver Damage
In October 2015, FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication which stated that Viekira Pak and Technivie (another hepatitis C treatment made by AbbVie) can cause serious liver injury, mostly in patients with underlying advanced liver disease. As a result, the agency required AbbVie to update the drugs’ labeling with a warning about the risk of liver disease.
A review of the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System found 26 cases of liver failure and hepatic decompensation related to Viekira Pak or Technivie from December 2014 to July 2015. Of these, 10 patients experienced liver failure resulting in transplantation or death, and 16 patients experienced various degrees of liver dysfunction.
In most cases, liver injury occurred within 1 to 4 weeks of beginning treatment with the medications. Serious outcomes were reported mostly in Viekira Pak users who had evidence of advanced cirrhosis before treatment was initiated.
Symptoms of Liver Disease
- Loss of appetite
- Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
- Light-colored stools
Effects of Hepatitis C on the Liver
The hepatitis C virus slowly damages the liver over many years, often progressing from inflammation to permanent, irreversible scarring (cirrhosis). In many cases, patients have no symptoms of liver disease or have only mild symptoms for years or even decades until they have cirrhosis. Once you have cirrhosis, treatment focuses on keeping the condition from worsening. It may be possible to stop or slow the damage.
Viekira Pak Side Effects
In addition to being linked to an increased risk for liver disease, Viekira Pak may cause the following side effects in some users:
- Allergic reactions
- Thinning blood
- Mild itching
- Difficulty sleeping
About Class Action Lawsuits
Although we are a nationally recognized class action firm, the Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm has decided against the filing of a Viekira Pak Class Action Suit and is currently filing individual claims on behalf of patients who took Viekira Pak for genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C infection (including those with compensated cirrhosis) and subsequently developed liver failure, required a liver transplant, or died from liver disease. Serious liver injury must have occurred within 1 to 4 weeks of initiating treatment with Viekira Pak.
Why Our Law Firm Is Filing Individual Lawsuits Opposed To a Class Action
In some instances, a class action may offer some advantages, as they aggregate a large number of individualized claims into one representational lawsuit. The aggregation can increase the efficiency of the legal process, lower the costs of litigation and in some cases offer the solution to a common problem wherein small recoveries do not provide the incentive for any individual or law firm to file an individual lawsuit.
However, a class action suit can also be a detriment to many class members, as they are often forced into a blanket “low ball settlement” and higher attorney fees. At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we understand that our clients are suffering emotionally and economically due to loss of wages and/or high medical bills and we plan to maximize each client’s recovery by filing individual Viekira Pak lawsuits on their behalf.
Do I Have a Viekira Pak Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Viekira Pak lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new liver disease cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you had liver failure or required a liver transplant, or someone you know died after taking Viekira Pak, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.