Bayer settling suits over contrast agent used for imaging tests.
Bloomberg News (4/16, Pearson, Fisk) reports that Bayer AG "has started settling lawsuits over its Magnevist contrast agent used in diagnostic imaging tests." In May 2007, the Food and Drug Administration "ordered...that all five gadolinium-based agents in the US carry a black-box warning, the agency's strictest caution." The products are "used to highlight internal organs in magnetic resonance imaging scans." The FDA claimed that "patients with weak kidneys who receive the gadolinium-based agents are at risk of nephrogenic system fibrosis." Now, "Bayer, General Electric Co., and Tyco International Ltd. are among companies facing more than 300 lawsuits over complaints that contrast agents containing the chemical gadolinium may increase the risk of death in patients with weak kidneys." Peter Burg, an attorney with Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh Jardine PC, who is head of a steering committee of lawyers for the product's users, "said negotiations would include state court cases and lawsuits consolidated in federal court in Cleveland."