Pondimin, also known as fenfluramine, is a prescription diet drugs that was distributed through doctors and weight loss clinics. When Pondimin and Redux were taken in combination, it was popularly referred to as Fen-Phen. In 1997, the FDA asked the makers of Pondimin (fenfluramine), American Home Products, to withdraw the drugs from the market. Medical studies have linked both Pondimin and Redux to heart valve disease. Findings from evaluated patients that took fenfluramine, revealed that approximately 30 percent of patients had abnormal echocardiograms, even though they had no symptoms. Medical reports have also linked Pondimin (fenfluramine hydrochloride) to the occurrence of serious regurgitant cardiac valvular disease, including disease of the mitral, aortic, and/or tricuspid valves. In another medical study, 24 patients, who received combination therapy with fenfluramine and phentermine for treatment of obesity, were found to have regurgitant cardiac valvular disease. Five of these patients required valvular surgery.
In 1999, after facing thousands of lawsuits, American Home Products agreed to pay as much as $3.75 billion in a national settlement over its Redux and Pondimin diet drugs. The terms call for American Home to create two trust funds that would make payments over 15 years, one with a current maximum value of $2.55 billion for injured people, and another with a value of $1.2 billion for medical tests and drug refunds for people who took the drugs but aren't necessarily ill. Factoring inflation, the company's payment to plaintiffs spread over that time could amount to $4.83 billion.