Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP – Personal Injury Law – Mefloquine

During the 1990s, it was common for military personnel to be prescribed Mefloquine, an antimalarial medication, when deployed to areas around the world where malaria was prevalent. However, issues with the drug have since been discovered causing some to be concerned. In fact, in 2016, Health Canada updated the warning labels for mefloquine, highlighting serious side effects – anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucinations, psychotic behaviour and thoughts of suicide –which can persist for months or years after taking the drug.

A class action was commenced in 2000 against the Canadian Government; the case was dismissed for delay in April 2018.

HSH has partnered with Waddell Phillips as Co-Counsel to bring forth individual claims for any member, or former member, of Canadian Armed Forces who was ordered to take Mefloquine from years 1992 to present.

If you or a loved one is taking or has taken Mefloquine and has experienced harmful side effects associated with its use, HSH personal injury lawyers Paul Miller and Michael Henry can help you to identify whether you may benefit from taking part in this legal action.

Side Effects of Mefloquine

Mefloquine has been reported to cause a number of symptoms in those who’ve taken the drug, including anxiety, depression, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. Health Canada recently updated its warning labels to reflect those side effects. Though the Canadian military conducted its own review which determined that the drug doesn’t have any long-term effects, it now only prescribes mefloquine as a drug of last resort.

The Problem

A number of veterans claim they have suffered significant side effects from mefloquine which they say they were forced to take when deployed to Somalia in 1992 and 1993. They say the anti-malaria drug was prescribed as part of a clinical trial which didn’t follow proper procedure. According to the rules of clinical trials, soldiers must provide consent before taking a new drug and be made aware of possible side effects. They should also be advised to avoid alcohol when taking the drug and must be monitored and treated for any negative side effects.

By not following those rules, the veterans claim the federal government hasn’t effectively met its duty of care. As a result, many are now suffering from a variety of side effects from mefloquine, including depression, anxiety, aggressive behaviour, paranoia, psychiatric symptoms, brain damage and suicidal thoughts.

Today the Canadian military seldom prescribes mefloquine. In June of 2017 the Department of National Defence announced that Mefloquine would only be recommended for use if a CAF member requests it, or if there are contraindications to the member being prescribed other anti-malarials.

What’s Being Done?

By prescribing mefloquine without following proper procedure for a clinical trial, and failing to inform our forces of the side effects, members of the military have suffered debilitating medical symptoms, some serious with long-term impact. HSH lawyers Paul Miller and Michael Henry, along with Waddell Phillips, want to hold the Canadian Government accountable.

The objective of the mefloquine lawsuit in Canada is to help its victims receive compensation for the drug’s harmful effects and for being part of a clinical trial that didn’t follow proper procedure despite potential risks. As a mass tort litigation, cases proceed on an individual basis.

Helping You

HSH lawyers can help you create a claim for compensation and damages based on the pain, suffering and losses you have experienced after experiencing side effects from a drug. If you or a loved one has been prescribed mefloquine and have experienced harm as a result, HSH can explain your rights and determine whether you may benefit from participating in this mass tort litigation.

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Among the best in Canada

Since 2011 Canadian Lawyer Magazine rated us one of the top personal injury law firms in Canada. Why? With close to 20 years helping accident victims and their families, our firm understands the laws that affect your rights to compensation because we’ve helped shape those laws in favour of accident victims.