A Texas man has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Philadelphia state court over claims that the company’s type 2 diabetes medication Invokana caused him to develop life threatening diabetic ketoacidosis. But the drug company contends that the man’s lawsuit should be thrown out because it has no business being in Philadelphia County.
Matthew Landes’ lawsuit is one of 41 filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County involving the alleged Invokana side effect of ketoacidosis, and one of 39 filed by people who don’t live anywhere near the county. The drug company argued that Landes’ lawsuit has no business being in Pennsylvania in the first place since he claims he took Invokana and developed ketoacidosis while living in Texas.
By filing in Philadelphia, Janssen argued it could not force Texas witnesses to testify in Pennsylvania. And even if they deposed witnesses, such as Landes’ doctors, it would not be as strong as live witness testimony, the drugmaker argued.
Janssen faces mounting lawsuits that claim increased ketoacidosis risks with Invokana and its similar diabetes treatment, Inovkamet. The drugs are in a class of diabetes medicines that work by inhibiting sodium glucose co-transporter 2, a carrier that aids in the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream through the kidneys, and then eliminates it through the urine.
Invokana and Invokamet were approved in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and since then have been linked to health issues including bone fractures, decreased bone density, serious urinary tract infections, lower limb amputations, ketoacidosis, and, most recently, an increased risk of acute renal injury and impaired kidney function.