Beovu is a medication that is intended to treat age related macular degeneration. However, Beovu has related side effects, such as vasculitis retinal artery occlusion that can actually result in permanent vision loss.
As a result, the manufacturer of Beovu is now facing lawsuits from patients who have suffered vision loss.
If you have received Beovu injections, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your vision loss and blindness.
Beovu Side Effects Attorneys
The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are currently accepting cases from injured patients who developed retinal artery occlusion or retinal vasculitis after a Beovu injection.
Contact us today for a free consultation where we can discuss your case and begin the process necessary to create an attorney client relationship. Call our toll free number or fill out an online form to contact our law firm for your free case evaluation related to Beovu lawsuits.
The Medication for Eye Problems
Beovu is a prescription drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2019. Beovu is intended to treat wet age related macular degeneration.
Wet AMD is when abnormal blood vessels in your eye leak fluid into the macula. Beovu is used to treat wet AMD by keeping new blood vessels from forming. The more blood vessels in your eye, the higher the chances for abnormalities. Eventually, this could lead to vision loss and blindness.
Beovu injections are administered every month for the first three months. After that, injections are given every 2-3 months. This is a regular course of treatment. Other wet AMD drugs on the market also require injections, but they are more frequent.
Who Makes Beovu?
Beovu is made by Novartis. Previously, the main leader in the treatment of neovascular wet AMD was a drug called Eylea. Novartis the manufacturer was hoping that Beovu could grab a large part of this lucrative market for related macular degeneration amd drugs.
There is one thing that is certain about Beovu, and that is that the drug is extremely expensive. Every single one of the Beovu injections that you get costs $1.850. A course of treatment could cost you $11,000.
The Beovu vision drug was very quick out of the gate. Just in the first quarter that it was available, the drug did $35 million in sales. This was followed by $68 million in sales in the first quarter of 2020. For Novartis, the sky seemed to be the limit.
How Beovu Was Supposed to Work
The whole point of Beovu was that it was supposed to be more powerful than the other drugs on the market to treat wet AMD. While the other drugs have proven to be safe and effective, patients require more frequent injections to achieve the same results.
These injections are both time-consuming and expensive. Novartis' entire marketing strategy was based on fewer injections to get the job done.
Novartis' thought was that they could capture market share by delivering a dose with smaller molecules, which achieved more tissue penetration of a greater dose. In this case, the drug may have been too powerful.
Vision Related Side Effects from Beovu
A study funded by Novartis shortly after approval tried to herald the safety of the drug, finding serious cases of eye damage from Beovu to be almost nonexistent. The troubling reality was revealed by an independent group without the same financial interest as Novartis.
For Novartis, the trouble began in February 2020. This was less than five months after the drug was approved by the FDA and hit the market. The bad news about the drug came in a report from the American Society of Retina Specialists. This is an independent group of eye doctors that chose to do its own safety review to ensure that a product that doctors were prescribing was safe.
However, the results of the study showed that patients could be at risk of severe vision loss from a product that they thought would help restore their vision.
Specifically, they could get occlusive retinal vasculitis (also referred to vasculitis retinal artery occlusion or occlusive retinal vasculitis) as a result of the Beovu treatment. The initial reports were minimized, with proponents of the drug claiming that only one or two people in every 1,000 who were administered the treatments developed severe side effects.
What is Retinal Vasculitis and Retinal Vascular Occlusion?
Retinal vasculitis results from the inflammation of the retinal artery. While it is painless, patients will report a number of symptoms of worsening eyesight, including:
- Blurry vision
- Color blindness
- Visual floaters
- Distortion of images
- Dark spots in vision
Retinal vascular occlusion is a more serious condition. This is where there is a blood clot in the vein that carries oxygenated blood from the eye to the heart. The veins of the eye become too narrow, and they become blocked. This is consistent with the fact that Beovu acts on the blood vessels in the eye.
Retinal vascular occlusion can lead to immediate blindness. In many cases, the blockage cannot be reversed, and patients will permanently lose their eyesight. There are treatments for this condition, but in some cases, they can only manage the symptoms as opposed to curing the condition.
The News Gets Worse for Beovu
While the initial reports were that the number of cases of vasculitis and retinal vascular was low, newer reports have shown that more people are at risk.
Additional research released in March and April 2020 showed that this problem with eye inflammation was even worse than originally reported.
The initial study by the retina specialists (ASRS) showed a handful of cases of retinal vasculitis. However, the later research significantly raised the total of patients with these side effects.
Shortly thereafter, Novartis admitted that patients had suffered adverse events, all the while taking steps to ramp up sales of the drug. Subsequent studies raised the estimates even further, with a June 2020 report from ASRS finding that 3.3% of patients had experienced retinal vasculitis, of which 2.1 percent also had vascular occlusion.
The FDA Takes Action
In June 2020, the FDA took some action regarding this medication. The agency required Novartis to include a black box warning on the drug, alerting customers of possible severe eye problems.
This is the highest level of warning that an FDA-approved drug could carry. Usually, manufacturers try to avoid this kind of warning at all costs because it can scare off patients. This is exactly what is happening to Beovu as a once-promising drug is now saddled with a reputation as a dangerous product.
Beovu's Sales Have Now Stalled
After the ASRS report, we have been hearing that many doctors are now hesitant to prescribe Beovu for their patients. They see no reason to subject their patients to side effects that could include retinal vasculitis when other drugs in the class do not have the same complications.
As such, sales of the drug have not taken off like Novartis thought they would. In fact, Regeneron (the maker of Eylea) has seen its share price rally because investors are relieved that they will not see as much competition from Novartis.
Novartis Continues to Sell Beovu
Even though there have been serious documented safety concerns, Novartis keeps this drug on the market. The profit potential is too much for the company to pull the drug.
Shareholders were expecting a billion-dollar drug, and the company still thinks they deliver, even though it means selling a product that could cause vasculitis and or retinal issues.
Beovu Lawsuits are Now Being Filed
We are beginning to see the first lawsuits for severe vision loss being filed in court, and we expect more to follow. Novartis shipped over 75,000 doses in the earlier part of the year.
Given the percentage of people who developed retinal vasculitis or retinal vascular occlusion, we expect there to be hundreds of lawsuits eventually filed in this case.
Recently, a Nebraska woman filed a lawsuit against Novartis after she suffered severe eye damages after taking Beovu. Here, she claimed that the company failed to warn her of the dangers of the drug.
In addition, the lawsuit claimed that Novartis made explicit representations about the drug's safety when marketing Beovu. However, the product proved dangerous within months after it hit the market.
Frequently Asked Questions About a Beovu Lawsuit
Here are some questions that law firms have been asked about Beovu lawsuits:
Where Do the Beovu Lawsuits Stand Right Now?
The drug safety reviews of Beovu just came out in 2020. The first lawsuits are just being filed now seeking compensation from Novartis the manufacturer.
The personal injury lawsuit process can take quite a bit of time, especially when you are dealing with product liability cases. You can expect that this would take several years until there is a resolution to Beovu eye lawsuits unless the manufacturer settles the case first.
What Kind of Compensation Could I Expect to Receive for Vision Loss?
Compensation in vision loss lawsuits can be considerable, especially if you have experienced complete vision loss. We are aware of settlements and awards in vision loss cases that reach close to seven figures ($1,000,000).
Here is some of what you could receive for Beovu vision loss:
- Cost of medical bills
- Lost wages for being unable to work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
However at the current time, there are no settlements involving Beovu lawsuits.
Novartis Has a Black Box Warning Now. Can I Sue If I Was Injured After That?
As mentioned above, in June 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required Novartis to include a black box warning about the dangers of intraocular inflammation. As such, patients are now warned of the dangers. They can certainly bring a lawsuit for failure to warn if they were injured before that date.
Failure to warn is just one type of product liability lawsuit. Just because something is on a box does not mean that a company can sell you a defective drug. You can still sue for occlusion retinal vasculitis on the grounds that Beovu has a manufacturing or design defect.
Beovu Retinal Vasculitis Lawyers
Contact the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to learn more about your legal rights. When you tell us the facts of your case, we can give you a free case review and let you know about your legal options.
We are experienced drug defect lawyers with a track record of helping clients recover in product liability cases. Call us today or fill out an online contact form to schedule your free consultation.