Narcolepsy Claims/Narcolepsy Test Case

We currently act for over 80 Narcolepsy cases (including the test case and other lead cases) involving adults and children who have been affected by Narcolepsy arising from the administration of the Swine Flu vaccine Pandemrix between October 2009 and the end of March 2010. Pandemrix was manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. It is important to point out that in some cases, Pandemrix was used post March 2010 in substitution for the ordinary flu vaccine where stocks were scarce. It was eventually withdrawn from the Irish market on or around April 2011.

The vaccination programme initiated by the Minister for Health and the HSE began in Ireland in October 2009 following a declaration of a Swine Flu pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Over 900,000 people in Ireland were vaccinated with the vaccine.

Most recipients were vaccinated between the 25th October 2009 and the 31st March 2010. Pandemrix was purchased by the HSE from GlaxoSmithKline by contract in May 2009 and was largely untested. GlaxoSmithKline received a full and comprehensive indemnity by the HSE against all claims on signing the contract.

A report carried out by the HSE in 2012 found that recipients of the Swine Flu vaccine were thirteen times more likely to develop Narcolepsy than unvaccinated individuals. Results in this area were similar to those garnered in Northern Europe namely Sweden and Finland.

Pandemrix, unlike the alternative vaccine which was available on the market, was an adjuvanted vaccine with the adjuvant AS03 which renders the immune system more sensitive to the core virus. Less antigen (core virus) is required once the adjuvant is added. Furthermore, despite notification by GlaxoSmithKline to the HSE and the Irish Medicines Board post sale of Pandemrix confirming that there were adverse outcomes arising from this vaccine, the vaccination program still continued. We are involved in extensive discovery on one of the lead cases which has not yet been completed. However, serious data has been reviewed on the discovery documentation and this is continuing. Discovery is not yet complete.

It is estimated that approximately 3,000 people across Europe have been affected by Narcolepsy arising from the Pandemrix vaccine, many of which have been compensated.

No offer of compensation has been offered to recipients of the Pandemrix Swine Flu vaccine who developed Narcolepsy. In most cases a discretionary medical card only has been facilitated. Victims of narcolepsy are anxious that questions be answered as to why the vaccination programme continued in the light of information that was to available to The Minister for Health, HSE and the IMB (now HPRA) given the results of the HSE’s own report commissioned in 2012 (see above).

Narcolepsy often linked with Cataplexy is a lifelong debilitating incurable disease. Symptoms of Narcolepsy include daytime sleepiness, hallucinations (often tactile) sleep paralysis and other ancillary problems. Narcolepsy is frequently linked with Cataplexy which involves muscle weakness and a sudden loss of muscle tone/collapse instigated by extreme emotion such as laughter.

Following our discovery documentation review, we have noted the role of the Irish Medicines Board and their duty to the Minister for Health in relation to the Pandemrix Swine Flu vaccine and its administration. Therefore, in all cases now, if we have not already done so, we propose issuing proceedings against both GlaxoSmithKline, the Minister for Health, the HSE and the Health Products Regulatory Authority (formally the Irish Medicines Board).

If you as an adult or your child has been affected by Narcolepsy or you think that the development of Narcolepsy may be linked to the Pandemrix Swine Flu vaccine administered between October 2009 and the end March 2010 or later and you wish to investigate the matter further, please do not hesitate to contact us

Michael Boylan and Gillian O’Connor are currently dealing with all of the Narcolepsy claims and can be contacted at michael@michaelboylan.com and gillian@michaelboylan.com.

 

Recent articles of note

  • Staying Awake and Pandemrix - The Swine Flu Scandal

  • Solicitors to begin legal action over Narcolepsy link to Pandemrix swine flu vaccination

  • New European Alliance formed on behalf of children and adults injured as a result of Human Swine Flu vaccine, Pandemrix

  • Michael Boylan to address International Narcolepsy Conference in Stockholm on behalf of Irish Patients diagnosed following Swine Flu Vaccination

  • Narcolepsy Litigation