Canadian attorneys have filed for class action status at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice alleging Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals diabetes treatment Invokana can cause serious injuries that can lead to kidney damage and death. Attorneys say they expect the class action to be certificed in the net six to seven months.
Invokana is approved in both the U.S. and Canada as a treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of diabetes drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors. These drugs work by acting on the kidneys and lowering blood sugar by excreting excess glucose in the urine.
The Canadian class action lawsuit centers on Rosalba Joudry, who claims she suffered kidney failure after taking Invokana for eight months. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 billion in damages on behalf of Canadian patients who have been allegedly harmed by the drug. The lawsuits cite Janssen for negligence in testing of the treatment and for failure to warn doctors and patients of the risks.
Janssen also faces similar lawsuits in the U.S. In May, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors could cause acid to build up in the blood, a life threatening condition known as ketoacidosis. This condition can lead to kidney failure, diabetic coma and death if left untreated.
In June, Health Canada launched its own investigation into ketoacidosis risk with Invokana.