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Drug firms have to pay $162m in damages over hepatitis C infection

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d7103 (Published 01 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7103
  1. Jane Feinmann
  1. 1London

Three drug companies have been ordered by a US court to pay damages of $162m (£102m; €120m) after three patients contracted hepatitis C from a reusable drug vial.

The settlement, awarded to three colonoscopy patients involved in an outbreak of hepatitis C at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada in 2008 and traced to the use of propofol, is the third multimillion dollar award against the companies, Teva Pharmaceutical, Baxter Healthcare, and McKesson, which make the drug.

Earlier in October $104m in damages was handed to a single plaintiff infected at the clinic. Teva and Baxter are currently appealing against $505m in damages awarded to a Las Vegas headmaster and his wife in July 2010 (BMJ 2010;341:c4057, doi:10.1136/bmj.c4057). A further 115 cases still have to …

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