Judge allows Cork woman to proceed with case against Pfizer

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has failed to stop a legal action by a Cork woman who claims the company did not provide adequate warnings about the side effects of a drug.

Lorna Savage (aged 43) from Cobh says she suffered permanent disabilities from a steroid that was prescribed to her for a skin rash.

The High Court heard Lorna Savage was first prescribed the drug Deltacortril in 1997 for a skin rash.

The treatment continued in high doses for more than two and a half years, during which time she was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, an irreversible and devastating condition where the bone dies and collapses, particularly at the knee or hip joints.

The court notes it is a well established but rare side effect of Deltacortril.

The 43-year-old is now suing the drug's manufacturer Pfizer over its alleged failure to provide adequate warnings about the steroid – particularly in relation to its use with alcohol.

Pfizer tried to get the case struck out on grounds of delay but Mr Justice George Bermingham found the lapse of time excusable because Lorna Savage has undergone seven surgical procedures making it hard for her to brief her lawyers.

KEYWORDS: cork, Pfizer
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