Texas FedCourt Tosses Scientology crime syndicate's CCHR Lunacy

19 May 2001

Judge Dismisses Class-Action Lawsuit Against Makers of Ritalin

Texas Federal Judge Rules Plaintiff's Complaint Unclear and Invalid

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Today U. S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle dismissed the class action lawsuit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, manufacturers of Ritalin(R)(methylphenidate), which claimed the company conspired with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) to promote the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Judge Tagle found that the plaintiffs failed to state their claims of fraud and conspiracy with sufficient particularity. Additionally, she found that the plaintiffs' vague mentions of side effects in their complaint failed to state a legal claim.

This was the plaintiffs' third attempt to state a sufficient cause of action. The first complaint was dismissed on October 17, 2000 because Judge Tagle ruled charges were too vague and unclear and did not state a legal claim.

"We applaud Judge Tagle's dismissal of the Texas class action," said Novartis General Counsel, Dorothy Watson. "This ruling supports Novartis' position that this lawsuit and others like it are an unmerited attempt to promote an agenda that contradicts scientific and medical consensus."

On April 23, a California judge also dismissed a similar class action suit filed in that state under the California anti-SLAPP statute -- a statute designed to weed out of the court system at their inception, lawsuits which are in reality political actions designed to intimidate defendants from exercising their First Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Rudi Brewster dismissed the suit stating that the defendants' speech is "protected under both the United States and California Constitutions" and that plaintiffs "failed to state a cause of action."

In addition to dismissing the suit, the court also ordered that the plaintiffs pay the legal fees for Novartis, APA and CHADD.

Similar suits have been filed in Florida, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. The defendants also filed motions to dismiss those cases and rulings in those cases are pending.

Contrary to the position advanced in the lawsuits, ADHD is a real and serious disorder. It is a well-established and valid diagnosis recognized by the leading medical authorities in the U.S., including the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Surgeon General.

Ritalin has been shown to be an effective and safe medication for more than 45 years and has been scientifically evaluated in more than 200 studies involving over 6,000 school-aged children.

"Ritalin and similar treatments are among the most widely studied therapies available," said Watson. "We're heartened that an overwhelming body of scientific evidence cannot just be litigated away by lawyers and anti-psychiatry advocates."

Ritalin is a mild central nervous system stimulant that helps to address the neurochemical problems underlying attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufactures and markets leading innovative prescription drugs used to treat a number of diseases and conditions, including central nervous system disorders, organ transplantation, cardiovascular diseases, dermatological diseases, respiratory disorders, cancer and arthritis. The company's mission is to improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.

Located in East Hanover, New Jersey, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an affiliate of the Novartis Group (NYSE: <A HREF="aol://4785:NVS"NVS</A), a world leader in healthcare with core businesses in pharmaceuticals, consumer health, generics, eye-care, and animal health. In 2000, the Group's ongoing businesses achieved sales of CHF 29.1 billion (USD 17.2 billion) and invested approximately CHF 4.0 billion (USD 2.4 billion) in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis employs about 67,600 people and operates in over 140 countries around the world. For further information please consult



Todd Ringler
Feinstein Kean Healthcare
Regina Moran
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Cathy Yarbrough
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation


SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
CO: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Novartis Group
ST: Texas
05/18/2001 15:31 EDT



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