Wyeth, which is involved in litigation over its withdrawn diet drug, Pondimin (fenfluramine) [[25/01/02b]], says that a US judge ruled that the firm was not liable to pay the $780,000 compensation awarded to a woman who claimed the product caused heart valve damage, because she was aware of the dangers associated with the drug’s use before beginning treatment.

In a statement, Wyeth said that the judge had set aside the money awarded to Geri McMurdie, one of four plaintiffs whose trials were combined and heard together at the beginning of September last year. However, the firm added that the judge has rendered a decision in favour of Wyeth because “evidence showed that Ms McMurdie signed a consent form acknowledging the potential risks of diet drugs at the time she was prescribed Pondimin.” The judge ruled that she “knowingly and voluntarily assumed the risks” of heart damage when she took Pondimin.

The judge has yet to rule on Wyeth’s challenges to the three other cases in question.