Pfizer Requests for Multidistrict Litigation for Birth Defect Cases

To accommodate all cases filed against Pfizer, under a single venue under an overall judge, the company has filed a motion to have a multidistrict litigation instead, leading US newspapers report. This multidistrict litigation is often done when there are several plaintiffs filing cases against a single defendant and it may be filed at the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). About 100 cases of birth defects are now being lodged against Pfizer for its antidepressant drug Zoloft. The U.S. JPML granted the request and Judge Cynthia M. Rufe will be presiding the cases, although there were actions (objections) that were filed against the request.

Read more about it at: Zoloft Lawsuits Consolidated Into One Multidistrict Litigation in Pennsylvania


Taking Folic Acid Prevents Severe Birth Defects

folic acidB complex refers to a group of nutrients that help keep the body healthy and capable of helping build new cells, medical experts say, affirming a wide range of usefulness. There are many health benefits that may be obtained or experienced when one takes these essential nutrients, among them folic acid or folate. Evidence from several researches point to positive effects of vitamin B9 in preventing several birth problems. Birth defects are one of the most common childhood problems because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 33 babies is seen to have some form of birth defect. Thus, its prevention is very important because several of them are may even cost the life and the development newly born children.

Women are encouraged by their obstetricians to take prenatal vitamins to help in the growth of the baby. There are several natural sources of folate such as peas, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fruits and dried beans. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even supported the fortification of food with folic acid. Large concentrations of this nutrient are available as a source of supplement for women who are with child or those who are planning to conceive.

Folic acid may help prevent these problems at birth:

  • Spina bifida – a developmental disorder characterized by incomplete formation of the spinal cord and the spinal column.
  • Anencephaly – a baby who has missing parts in the brain or skull. It is considered to be one of the most common neural tube defect by many medical experts.
  • Encephalocele – an abnormal opening in the skull makes it possible for other parts of the brain to stick out.

Medical experts say that that these kinds of baby problems happen during the first 28 days of gestation. Thus, it is important for women of child bearing age to take folic acid before getting pregnant. The mechanism of how folate helps in preventing these ailments are still being studied by scientists. However, the CDC has recommended that the daily dose of folate should be no less than 0.4 milligrams. Breakfast cereals are fortified with 100 percent of the daily folate needs.

Preventing the occurrence of birth defects is one of the programs of the CDC, hand in hand with the FDA and other government agencies. However, other types of birth defects were seen to be caused by several medications. The information regarding the link between Zoloft with certain problems in the newborn are found at

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