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May 21, 2003 - Thousands of Fen-Phen Patients Opt-Out of Class Action

May 21, 2003 - Thousands of Fen-Phen Patients Opt-Out of Class Action

Fen-phen users are now able to file individual lawsuits against pharmaceutical maker Wyeth after opting out of a national class-action settlement. Wyeth, formally known as American Home Products, has received 90,000 opt-out claims. Fen-phen users had until May 3, 2003 to opt-out of the class action settlement. In 1997, Wyeth recalled its diet drugs Pondimin and Redux because of their link to heart valve damage and primary pulmonary hypertension.

Analysts say Wyeth has already paid $12.8 billion to patients harmed by Fen-phen but could now spend an additional $4 billion because of the sudden rise in patient claims. Two-thirds of those who chose to not join the class action did so within the last two weeks of the deadline.

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