When the FDA approves drugs they are to be used only for certain conditions, such as Zoloft is approved to treat depression and anxiety disorders. But once a drug is approved and on the market, “off-label uses” are known to happen. Doctors have the ability to prescribe drugs for anything they deem appropriate. But pharmaceutical companies are prohibited from marketing or advertising them for anything other than approved uses.
In 2009 Pfizer, the makers of Zoloft, was subject of the “largest health care fraud settlement in history” (USA Today, 2009). They were ordered to pay “2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company illegally promoted uses of four of its drugs.”
As part of the 2009 settlement, Pfizer was to pay $1.195 billion in criminal fines.
Now, Pfizer is facing more legal action because of birth defects. Pregnant women who took Zoloft may not have had all the information, and some ended up harming their unborn children. Zoloft– when taken by pregnant women increases their chances of birth defects like congenital heart defect, lung defects and malformed limbs to name a few.
If you or a loved one have taken Zoloft while pregnant, then please contact us today.