A paraplegic West Valley City man has sued a New York pharmaceutical company, accusing it of negligencein manufacturing a generic drug used to treat urinary tract infections.
In a suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Allan Birch says Bolar Pharmaceutical Co. of Long Island acted negligently and fraudulently by marketing a drug it knew wasn't identical to the medicine with which it was supposed to be interchangeable.Birch is seeking $2 million in general damages, $10 million punitive damages, court costs and attorneys fees.
The lawsuit says that Bolar received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 1988 to sell nitrofurantoin capsules.
Nitrofurantoin was intended to be a generic, identical version of the prescription drug macrodantin, which fights urinary tract infections, the suit said.
In October 1988, Birch, 48, began taking two capsules daily, in lieu of macrodantin, and continued to do so for one year, the suit said.
However, the suit says the FDA discovered the generic version of the drug was not the same as macrodantin and ordered a recall Oct. 13, 1989. It withdrew approval of the product about four months later.
Birch maintained that because of his continued use of the drug, he suffered numerous severe urinary tract infections, became susceptible to other infections and suffered significant scarring in both kidneys.
He further charges that Bolar Pharmaceutical knew its application and laboratory tests submitted to the FDA were false.
"The defendant, knowingly and with the intent to deceive the consuming public, manufactured, distributed and sold a product which defendant knew was not the same product authorized by the FDA," the suit said.