According to a ruling by the California State Appeals Court, drug giant Johnson & Johnson has known that Motrin causes Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) since the 1980s. To make this revelation worse, it is said that the company warned German consumers before Americans. In fact, Motrin still doesn’t contain proper warnings about SJS, but that may change as the ruling stipulates that this information has to be available on the drug packet even if the FDA doesn’t specifically order it.

The ruling also pointed out that there’s something wrong when drug companies don’t warn American consumers of drug risks and side effects, but that they will warn foreign countries. This is a common practice. This has caused quite a bit of debating about whether it’s worth even bothering to warn the drug’s link to SJS and its more severe form, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TENS). The conditions are rare, but may be fatal. That is why it is strange that Johnson & Johnson officials think it’s fine to warn Germans about the risks but not Americans.

The judge in the case states that McNeil has known since the 1980s that ibuprofen is associated with SJS/TENS, yet never asked the FDA to include that fact in the OTC label warning, despite the fact it could have done so. Foreign labels for Motrin have long contained more information about SJS/TEN than United States labels (e.g., a patient information leaflet inside bottles of OTC Motrin sold in Germany warns “of the side effects associated with this OTC product of rare but serious skin reactions, such as reddening and blister formation . . . which is bullous EM/SJS”).

Johnson & Johnson may have done everything that was required of the company when seeking FDA approval, but obviously it wasn’t enough considering the many cases of SJS and TENS occurring in America. If you or someone you love is suffering from Motrin-related SJS or TENS, contact attorney Greg Jones today. I will fight hard to help you get every dime that you may be entitled to.