Motion filed against makers of diet drugs
December 8, 1997
Web posted at: 7:48 p.m. EST (0048 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN)-- Two advocacy groups filed a motion in
federal court Monday asking that the makers of three diet
drugs, including fen-phen, be required to compensate patients
for heart and lung tests.
The motion by the National Association to Advance Fat
Acceptance and the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination
targets the makers of Redux, known generically as
dexfenfluramine; and fenfluramine and phentermine, the
components of the once-popular diet drug combination known as
The motion was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington
against a number of pharmaceutical companies, including
American Home Products, Interneuron Pharmaceuticals and
Wyeth-Ayerst, as well as the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. HHS is not legally liable for any monetary
According to Ron Benjamin, the groups' attorney, the motion
seeks to have the pharmaceutical companies as a group
contribute money allowing anyone who has taken Redux,
fenfluramine or phentermine to receive free screening.
The screening would test for primary pulmonary hypertension,
a potentially fatal lung condition, and heart valve damage.
He estimated the cost of each test to be $800, and said the
cost of the screening program could reach into the billions.
Anywhere from 1.2 million to 4 million people are thought to
have taken the diet pills before two of them -- Redux and
fenfluramine -- were pulled off the market in September.