Email This Print this page

Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

Pharmaceutical and medical devices companies are faced with an increasingly watchful regulatory environment and an ever-widening litigation front. DLA Piper advises many of the world’s largest and most progressive manufacturers of pharmaceutical products and medical devices on regulatory and litigation matters. We understand that the development of medications and tools for the diagnosis, treatment and cure of diseases and medical conditions requires forward thinking, substantial investment and control of risks. We know that scientific knowledge evolves, as does public opinion. Using that knowledge, we work with our clients—some of the world’s best innovators and manufacturers of medical products—to anticipate how to limit risks as science and public thinking evolve and to position our clients to develop the medicines of the future. When recalls or litigation ensue, we stand ready to defend our clients vigorously.

DLA Piper has represented manufacturers of prosthetic devices, surgical instruments, intraocular lenses, dental implants, dental amalgams, dialysis solution, breast implants, hospital equipment, ethylene oxide
sterilizers and cautery equipment, pain relievers, phenylpropanolomine, macrolide antibiotic drugs, reflux and gastrointestinal medications, opioid pain medications and numerous other pharmaceutical and medical devices.

Specific examples of recent work for pharmaceutical and medical device companies include:

  • Acting as national counsel for the manufacturer of two anti-inflammatory drugs on the market that are involved in a recent wave of national mass-tort individual and class action cases. Our national role includes working among other select law firms, and encompasses involvement in consumer fraud actions, FDA and regulatory issues, sales and marketing questions and strategically defending these products in litigation.

  • Representing the maker of certain weight-loss medications. As National Resolution Counsel, we have coordinated, managed and implemented a national alternative resolution program addressing more than 50,000 cases. In addition, we have served as litigation counsel in more than 170 individual cases.

  • Advising a medical technology company on the laws governing the marketing of its products in a large number of jurisdictions in the EU. This involved advising on EU and member state laws on medical devices and providing advice in relation to the CE marking of the products.

  • Acting for a large multinational pharmaceutical company in litigation following the death of a consumer, advising the company on the procedures adopted in the UK for investigating unexpected deaths. Subsequently, our UK and US lawyers worked in conjunction providing representation at the inquest.

  • Representing the manufacturer of two of the leading hormone therapy drugs on the market. We are part of the national coordinating team identifying and working with expert witnesses, preparing and defending the company’s witnesses at deposition, taking plaintiffs’ depositions, managing all medical record retrieval and review and developing strategy for defending the litigation. In addition, we are litigation counsel for more than 50 individual cases.

  • Since 2002, representing the manufacturer of a cholesterol-lowering medication in litigation involving thousands of plaintiffs. Selected as lead trial counsel in cases in California and Oregon, we have also had primary responsibility for the workup of hundreds of other cases.

  • Coordinating all necessary advice in relation to a potentially defective anesthetic product, including corresponding with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and advising on the client’s contractual rights and obligations in respect of affected third parties.

  • Defending a client in claims alleging that a series of television commercials for an aspirin product made false and misleading representations regarding the benefits of that medication when taken during a heart attack. The judge ruled against the plaintiff on claims for false advertising, unfair business practices and fraud.

  • Representing the inventor of the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device. This involved managing and defending more than 5,000 legal actions in all 50 US states and in the UK. All the matters were resolved without payment of any judgment or settlement by our client.

Browse other industries

Note past results are not guarantees of future results. Each matter is individual and will be decided on its own facts.