BELLEVILLE, ILL. (CN) A man’s survivors claim Astellas Pharma’s “Protopic” eczema drug can and did cause his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and that Astellas pushes the drug through unconscionable methods.
The FDA approved Protopic for atopic dermatitis in 2000, but restricted its long-term use and said it should be used only when other treatment had failed or could not be used. “The active ingredient in Protopic, tacrolinus, works by affecting the body’s immune system,” the complaint states. The drug is a calcineurin inhibitor, which inhibits T-cell activation by blocking transcription of early cytokines, thereby inhibiting inflammation. Such drugs are used in organ transplant surgery and are known to increase the risk of malignancies, the suit states. Astellas pushed the drug despite this knowledge and deceptively misrepresented its fatal side effects, the Estate of Bill Woods claims in St. Clair County Court, Ill. They are represented by John Driscoll of St. Louis. See complaint.