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Testosterone Lawsuits Allege Heart Attack, Stroke, Blood Clot

Posted January 12, 2017 | Medical Malpractice

Millions of men in the United States are affected by low testosterone (“low T”) which is associated with effects such as erectile dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, depression, sleep disturbances, and even anemia (too few red blood cells). Testosterone-boosting medications have been marketed by drug companies as a remedy for these ailments. However, testosterone replacement therapy has also been linked to an increased risk of serious health problems such as blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and even death.  These complications have led numerous patients to file product liability lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these drugs.

Some commonly prescribed testosterone-boosting drugs include prescription gel and patches, such as:

  • AndroGel
  • Axiron
  • Fortesta
  • Testim

If you or your spouse has already experienced any of these complications while using a prescribed gel or patch testosterone booster, you should consult with a testosterone product liability lawyer about a filing a lawsuit. You may be able to get compensated for the medical bills and other expenses you incurred due to the medication.

Thousands of people have already filed or joined lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that develop and market drugs for low testosterone.  The plaintiffs allege that manufacturers negligently marketed the testosterone replacement therapy, while also failing to warn patients about the potential hazards, leading to preventable blood clots and other injuries.

Testosterone Drug Study Cancelled After Too Many Men Experience Health Problems

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These risks and hazards have been substantiated by multiple peer-reviewed medical studies.  Two of the more prominent examples are a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which found that “use of testosterone therapy was associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes” including stroke, myocardial infarction, and death, and a 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which actually had to be discontinued due to a “higher proportion of adverse events in the testosterone group than in the placebo group.”

Before the NEJM study was cancelled, researchers found that “Significantly more men in the testosterone group than in the placebo group had adverse events in three… categories: cardiac disorders… and skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders.”  Furthermore, “Twice as many men in the testosterone group as in the placebo group were referred for medical evaluation owing to an adverse event.”

AndroGel, Testim, Fortesta, Axiron Lawsuits Against Pharmaceutical Companies Pending

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In June of 2014, all existing federally-filed testosterone lawsuits were bundled into the Northern District of Illinois.  Over the two and a half years which have passed since then, defendants’ and plaintiffs’ attorneys have been whittling down pools of representative cases to serve as bellwether cases, which are common in mass tort actions. Mass tort cases, similar to class actions, are large-scale cases involving many claimant. However, unlike a class action, successful mass tort claimants are entitled to a separate and distinct award.

The purpose of a bellwether trial, which revolves around a small group of representative cases (bellwether cases) like those described above, is to give the parties a sense of how future litigation is likely to unfold.  In short, a bellwether trial acts like a test trial.  If the jury issues a verdict that favors the plaintiffs, settlement discussions may follow, though this is not guaranteed.

As of December 2016, more than 6,000 testosterone medication-related lawsuits – many of which name AndroGel manufacturer AbbVie as a defendant – are pending in Illinois courts.  Eight bellwether cases involving AndroGel have been scheduled to take place during the second half of 2017, though AbbVie has asked U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly to dismiss at least one lawsuit, citing a lack of evidence – specifically, a missing expert witness – to back the assertion that AndroGel caused a plaintiff to develop blood clots in 2013.

According to the Legal Examiner, cases are set along the following timeline:

  • October, 2016 – Eight Testim bellwether cases were selected.  These cases will be narrowed down for a trial that will take place in 2017.
  • May, 2017 – Two Testim cases will be chosen from among the initial eight.
  • July, 2017 – Six bellwether cases involving Fortesta will be chosen from a group of 50 cases.
  • Second half of 2017 – Eight bellwether AndroGel cases will go to trial.
  • November, 2017 – The first Testim bellwether trial will begin.
  • January, March 2018 – Two bellwether cases involving Axiron, which is manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company, will go to trial.  The Axiron bellwether cases, which have yet to be selected, are in the process of being chosen from a group of roughly 80 cases.
  • February, 2018 – Judge Kennelly will rule on which Fortesta bellwether cases will go to trial.
  • September, 2018 – The first Fortesta bellwether trial will begin.

Did You Suffer Blood Clots, Heart Attack, or Stroke After Using Testosterone Medication?

If you, your spouse, or a family member developed health problems after using Fortesta, Testim, AndroGel, Axiron, or other prescribed testosterone replacement drugs, you may be entitled to compensation.  Speak with a testosterone lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (877) 654-3887 immediately to discuss your legal options in a free and completely confidential consultation.  The Wieand Law Firm serves plaintiffs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes.  It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice.  The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.*