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First NSF Trial Set for January

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The litigation involving  gadolinium contrast dyes and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is moving into high gear.  According to Law.com, a  Magnevist lawsuit against Bayer currently pending in California will be among the first to go to trial.

The California Magnevist lawsuit is scheduled for trial in January, and  is one of  20 to 30 NSF lawsuits in the state that have been consolidated before San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer.  While this suit only names Bayer as a defendant, General Electric, the maker of Omniscan gadolinium contrast dye, is also a major defendant in the California litigation.

According to  Law.com, the outcome of the California Magnevist trial could be a good indicator of how  NSF plaintiffs in similar lawsuits will fare.

Most NSF lawsuits filed around the country have been consolidated in federal court in the Northern District of Ohio.  These products have been named in over 500 lawsuits filed by people who claim they or their loved ones developed NSF following exposure to one or more of the gadolinium-based MRI contrast dyes.

NSF is an often-fatal disease that leads to excessive formation of connective tissue in the skin and internal organs. There are no effective treatments for NSF, and the disease  can progress to the point of causing severe stiffness in joints, and it can lead to death.  While not much is known about the disease, a growing mountain of evidence indicates that NSF only occurs in people with severe kidney disease who have been exposed to a gadolinium contrast dye.

In 2007, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) mandated a black box warning about the risk of NSF for all gadolinium agents.  The agency is now considering tougher warnings that could restrict the use of some gadolinium agents to only patients without severe kidney disease, following a risk assessment that found Omniscan, OptiMark and Magnevist appeared to carry a higher risk of NSF than other gadolinium products on the market.

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