Zoloft – Drug Regulator Now in Firing Sights

From: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,24555957-2702,00.htmlMother settles landmark case over Zoloft

From The Australian

Australia’s national newspaper

Julie-Anne Davies | October 27, 2008

THE Victorian mother who launched an unprecedented lawsuit against her 16-year-old daughter’s GP claiming her child became suicidal after being prescribed the anti-depressant drug Zoloft has reached a confidential legal settlement with the doctor.

In a case believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, Nicola Mulcahy lodged a $95,000 claim for her own economic loss in the Melbourne Magistrates Court under the Fair Trading Act after she was forced to quit her job to take care of her daughter Hannah. “I am happy it’s all over but I am unable to say anything further,” Ms Mulcahy said.

She is now considering mounting a class action against Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, on the grounds it failed to properly warn consumers and prescribers of the risks posed by anti-depressants. In her statement of claim against Vanessa Haller, Ms Mulcahy said the GP misrepresented and falsely promoted Zoloft, an SSRI anti-depressant as a safe, effective and approved drug for children.

Ms Mulcahy’s daughter attempted suicide five days after being prescribed Zoloft. Several other attempts followed. She spent five weeks at the Royal Children’s Hospital adolescent psychiatric unit. Ms Mulcahy said her daughter was later diagnosed with a genetic defect that predisposed her to having an adverse reaction to the active ingredient in Zoloft.

In her claim, Ms Mulcahy said she did not give informed consent because the serious side-effects associated with the drug were not explained.

The lawyer acting for Dr Haller refused to comment on the settlement.

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