The Duragesic patch is designed to relieve pain by allowing Fentanyl to absorb through the skin into the bloodstream. The scary factor of this patch is that Fentanyl is a very potent opiate that is anywhere from 50 to 100 times more powerful than Morphine. These patches have a manufacturing and design defect that can cause too much Fentanyl to release into the bloodstream causing death.
Money is the driver of this dangerous Death Patch. The Duragesic Patch is one of Johnson & Johnson’s top five selling products and the patch produced $1.5 billion in sales in 2005 for the company. Some known types of defects of the death patch are: foldovers in the backing of the patch system, gel in the seal, seal breaches, corners of the patch system cut off, holes in the drug reservoir, slits in the patch’s pouch and system, air bubbles in the adhesive layers of the system, no gel in the system, and lack of adhesions in the patch system. Sadly, this is too many problems for a product to have that can cause death and Johnson & Johnson is well aware of these problems. Johnson & Johnson has known about these defects since 2001 if not before and still continues to produce the death patch.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been involved with trying to control the safety of the death patch since 1990 when the patch first hit the market. The patch has had problems with toxicity and overdosing since its conception. The FDA has issued several “warning letters” concerning the patch to Johnson & Johnson for misrepresenting the risk associated with the patch. On June 15, 2005, the FDA began investigating the deaths and serious side effects of the patch announcing a public health advisory. The FDA also added a “black box” warning stating the patch should not be used for acute, postoperative, intermittent, or mild pain.
Lawsuits have been filed all over the country and several large verdicts have delivered by juries to the victims of the death patch. These actions are commonly against Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceutica, L.P. and Alza Corp.
Our firm has handled cases involving product defects such as this danger patch for many years. We are equipped to handle litigation against large companies such as Johnson & Johnson. If you would like to learn more information about the Duragesic Fentanyl Patch or if you or a loved one has been negatively affected by the patch, please contact our firm for free information.