Jury Rules Duragesic Pain Patch Killed Woman ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jury Rules Duragesic Pain Patch Killed Woman

38-year-old Jerry DiCosolo died in 2004 while using a Duragesic Pain Patch to treat pain she suffered as a result of a neurological problem. A jury has found the makers of the Duragesic Pain Patch liable for DiCosolo’s death and has ordered Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. and ALZA Corp, to pay the woman’s family $16.6 million. Fentanyl-containing Duragesic Pain Patches and similar products are meant to treat persistent, moderate to severe chronic pain in opioid-tolerant patients 2 years of age or older. Fentanyl is a highly addictive opiate that is 80 times more potent than morphine. Over the past several years, problems with Duragesic patches have resulted in several recalls. Last February, about 32 million Duragesic Pain Patches were recalled because of concerns that they could be defective. According to the recall notice, there was a chance that some 25-microgram-per-hour patches might have had a sliced edge in the pouch that contains the fentanyl gel, which could result in the gel leaking. It was estimated that the defect could have affected 2 out of every one million patches.

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