Heather Moore Cook, executor of University of Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore’s estate, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the makers of a heart medication. The lawsuit claims the drug caused Mr. Moore to suffer “severe and debilitating injury to his pulmonary system, resulting in his slow and painful death.”
The drug, amiodarone, also known by the brand name Cordarone, is used to treat life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities, such as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. The drug is indicated for patients who have used other antiarrhythmic drugs, and is considered a “last resort” for patients with these life-threatening heart conditions.
Cordarone has been linked to serious side effects involving the lungs. Patients are advised to seek medical attention immediately if they experience wheezing, cough, chest pain, coughing up blood, or breathing problems that get worse while taking amiodarone, even several months after discontinuing use.
Moore was a longtime football coach and athletic director at the University of Alabama. He died in March 2013 shortly after being diagnosed with a heart disorder.
The lawsuit claims Wyeth, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., “aggressively and successfully marketed Cordarone for inappropriate ‘off-label’ uses as a ‘first-line anti-arrhythmic therapy.’” Doctors can prescribe drugs for conditions that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however drug companies are forbidden to market pharmaceuticals for so-called off-label uses.
Cook’s lawsuit claims that Wyeth’s sales and promotional campaign materials swayed doctors into prescribing the medication to Moore even though his condition was not life-threatening.
Source: Birmingham Business Journal