Month: March 2012

Terminated Employee with Bipolar Disorder Awarded $315,000 in ADA Case

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Employers must be mindful that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to a wide range of both physical and mental conditions, as a March 29 decision from a Washington federal court makes clear. The case is one of the first disability discrimination lawsuits taken to trial concerning bipolar disorder.

The plaintiff in the case, a store manager of a payday lender, alleged that he was fired because of his disability, bipolar disorder. The judge held that the employer’s reasons for terminating the plaintiff were a pretext for discrimination, and that the employer had in fact fired him because it regarded him as too disabled to work.

The evidence showed that the employer denied the plaintiff’s request for a short medical leave to adjust to new medication prescribed by his doctor to treat his condition. The employer fired him just days after his need for sick leave first arose.

Following a four-day bench trial, the judge awarded the plaintiff $6,500 in back wages and $50,000 for emotional pain and suffering, as well as $258,018.94 for attorney fees and costs.

The case serves as an important reminder to employers that coverage under the ADA includes relatively common mental health conditions. According to the National Mental Health Association, over 2.3 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder.

The case is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Cottonwood Financial Ltd., 2:09-cv-05073, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

AstraZeneca wins bipolar disorder drug patent case for Seroquel XR

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AstraZeneca PLC says it has won a judgment in a U.S. court protecting its patent on the extended release version of Seroquel, its blockbuster drug for treating bipolar disorder.

AstraZeneca said Friday that U.S. District Court in New Jersey upheld the formulation patent for Seroquel XR, which expires in 2017.

The company said the court also ruled that Anchen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Osmotica Pharmaceutical Corp., Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Torrent Pharma Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Mylan Inc. have infringed the patent.

AstraZeneca has also been fighting legal battles to protect its patent on quetiapine, the active ingredient in Seroquel, which expires in December. Seroquel is the company’s second-largest-selling brand, accounting for 17 per cent of sales last year.

US court dismisses AstraZeneca Seroquel suit

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LONDON — AstraZeneca PLC says a U.S. court has dismissed the company’s bid to extend the patent on Seroquel, its blockbuster drug for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

AstraZeneca said Monday that the suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had been dismissed on Friday in Washington D.C.

The pharmaceutical company was seeking to extend its patents on quetiapine, the active ingredient in the medication, and on the formula for Seroquel XR, the extended-release version.

Astra Zeneca was seeking to protect its patents from generic competitors in the United States until December. The company says it is evaluating its legal options.

Sometimes Less is Not Better

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I have been trying to write this post for days, but the words haven’t been coming easily.

As part of the master plan to slim down my med cocktail, and after successfully weaning off of the antidepressant, I jumped the gun with the planned elimination of the antipsychotic. The result was I had to ask my husband to call my psychiatrist.  Thankfully  DH and the Dr staged an intervention and a few days and a few doses of Abilify later, I am back up and running.

The experience was frightening.

Thoughts raced, ideas about who I am and what was going on around me became more bizarre.  My sense of time was utterly warped.  The only time I believed I could shut down the thoughts was during sleep, which I tried to get a lot of.  But, that endeavor ultimately failed because my dreams were vivid enough that sleep was neither useful nor restful.

In retrospect, I believe what I experienced was actually a mild psychosis.

Since I never even came close to this state in the past, I can’t help but wonder whether being on the Abilify in the first place has in a way been addicting.  Will I ever be able to live my life without being held hostage by a little, blue pill?  On the other hand, does it matter, since I am already tied to a hand full of other pills until death do us part?

I’m not sure there is a moral to this post, or even a point.  Oh, besides the fact that it’s better to be a compliant patient when it comes to discontinuing antisychotics. And, the fact that now I am terrified about having further psychosis – I’m not longer ‘untouchable’ as I thought I  might have been from the lack of psychotic features for the last 45 years.

In the end, I suppose, it’s putting my husband through a fire and choosing to hide out from my son while the whole drama was unfolding that’s been the worst of all.


Body clocks may hold key for treatment of bipolar disorder

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Scientists have gained insight into why lithium salts are effective at treating bipolar disorder in what could lead to more targeted therapies with fewer side-effects.

Read the entire article here.