The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized 18 suits alleging that Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s blood cancer drug Tasigna causes cardiovascular disease, finding that more suits over the drug are likely to crop up.
The panel issued an order centralizing the cases in the Middle District of Florida, rejecting Novartis’ argument that there weren’t enough actions to warrant the move. As of August 2021, there were 18 suits and two potential tag-along actions over the drug in 13 different districts.
Cancer patient and plaintiff Matthew Garland had advocated for centralizing the cases in New Jersey federal court or in the Southern District of Illinois, where his case was filed.
But the panel said that the cases belong in Florida federal court, where there are more cases pending than in any other district.
Novartis failed to warn of the risks that Tasigna causes arteries to harden and narrow, even though it warned doctors and patients in Canada. His March 2020 suit alleges he was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2006 and took Tasigna between 2013 and 2016.