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Pfizer Accused of Hiding Birth Defect Risks of Zoloft


April 17, 2015 — The first trial involving birth defects linked to Zoloft has ended with closing arguments accusing Pfizer of intentionally concealing warnings about the risk during pregnancy.

According to Bloomberg, one critical piece of evidence is an internal document from Pfizer dated May 2014, which warns about the risk of congenital abnormalities in babies exposed to Zoloft in the womb.

Pfizer disputes these conclusions and continues to defend the safety of Zoloft. In an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, the company said:

“[Pfizer has not found a] signal for congenital anomalies and that a comprehensive review of the literature did not support an association between use of Zoloft and birth defects, including cardiac anomalies. … Plaintiffs have taken a single statement in one document, summarized the results of a few studies, out of context.”

About 1,000 lawsuits have been filed on behalf of children who were exposed to Zoloft and had a birth defect. The trial involves the case of Logyn Pesante, a child who was born with a “hole in the heart” and has had three open-heart surgeries.

In 2007, the use of Zoloft during pregnancy was linked to a doubled increased risk of “hole in the heart” defects, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


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