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AHP Settles Suit Alleging Fen-Phen Death

January 28, 2000|Reuters

The parents of a young woman who died after using the popular diet drug cocktail fen-phen to lose a few pounds for her wedding have settled a civil lawsuit against American Home Products Corp., the two sides said. Although no dollar amount of the settlement was given, "a substantial portion thereof" will be used by the parents of the dead woman, Mary Linnen, to establish a foundation in her memory for the study of primary pulmonary hypertension, according to a joint statement by the parties. The suit was in its second week of a jury trial in Cambridge, Mass. Linnen died in 1997 at the age of 30 of primary pulmonary hypertension, never having made it to the altar, after taking fen-phen for more than three weeks. Fen-phen consisted of fenfluramine and phentermine and was prescribed millions of times during the 1990s as a safe way to lose weight. Fenfluramine and its chemical cousin dexfenfluramine, sold by AHP under the name Redux, were recalled in September 1997 after studies indicated that some users developed heart valve problems and primary pulmonary hypertension. AHP has settled dozens of fen-phen suits and has signed a $4.83-billion national settlement related to the issue.

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