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In recent years, the use of testosterone therapy drugs such as AndroGel for the treatment of “Low T” has gained popularity. In 2011, there were more than 5 million testosterone prescriptions written in the United States and that number has been steadily increasing ever since. Testosterone therapy is typically administered as a gel, patch, or injection. Various testosterone products have been marketed and prescribed to improve sex drive, muscle mass, and bone density for men suffering from low testosterone. Recent studies, however, show an increased risk of myocardial infarction (heart attacks) and ischemic stroke associated with the use of testosterone therapy products. These risks were not made clear to patients using these therapies.
Nearly 7,000 lawsuits filed by men across the country claimed injury from testosterone replacement drugs, about 4,200 of them involving AbbVie’s market-leading AndroGel, a prescription gel men apply to their arms and chest. The lawsuits allege that companies’ efforts to grow the market led them to target older men without properly warning of the risk of complications. Men claim they suffered heart attacks, strokes and blood clots as a result of using the drugs.
If you or a loved one used a testosterone therapy treatment such as AndroGel, Acrirom, Fortesta, or Testpel and suffered a heart attack, stroke, DVT, or died during treatment, you may be eligible for compensation by filing a Testosterone lawsuit. Contact our Testosterone lawsuit attorneys today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Testosterone Lawsuits and Pending Litigation
Testosterone lawsuits have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is a legal process the courts use to manage many similar cases.
To date, 7,513 testosterone lawsuits have been filed against AbbVie, Eli Lilly & Co., Pfizer Inc., Endo International, and other testosterone-product manufacturers. Three cases have gone to trial.
Testosterone litigation is ongoing, meaning men who believe they suffered a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis as a result of using testosterone products can still sue the products’ manufacturers.
The litigation is in the bellwether trial phase. This means a few representative cases are going to trial first. The outcome of these cases could decide the fate of 7,000-plus lawsuits still pending. These trials are scheduled to continue into 2018.
While AbbVie continues to fight more than 4,000 testosterone lawsuits in the federal district court system, other companies have offered settlements to resolve claims against them. To date, the three companies that have offered testosterone settlements are:
- Eli Lilly: In December 2017, Eli Lilly announced a global settlement to resolve all testosterone cases against it worldwide, before its first case had gone to trial.
- Auxilium, Endo & GlaxoSmithKline: In February 2018, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Endo Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline announced a settlement to resolve outstanding testeosterone lawsuits against them.
While the full amounts of the settlements have not been disclosed, Endo Pharmaceuticals announced in June 2018 that it was increasing its legal reserves to $200 million to cover testosterone settlements.
Testosterone Lawsuit Allegations
Thousands of testosterone lawsuits filed in federal court all make the same allegation: Manufacturers of testosterone products put healthy men in danger by marketing the hormone to treat sexual dysfunction, age-related fatigue and other symptoms. These usages go way beyond the use approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Testosterone replacement therapies were approved for use in the treatment of a medical condition known as hypogonadism, but drugmakers widely marketed the products for off-label use for a condition they allegedly invented and call “Low T.”
Testosterone lawsuits accuse makers of testosterone products of marketing the products as safe and effective for this off-label use, when in fact, the products reportedly provide little or no benefit for men without hypogonadism.
AndroGel and Other Brands Named in Testosterone Lawsuits
AndroGel is the testosterone product most often named in lawsuits. AbbVie Inc. manufactures AndroGel. AndroGel is the most widely used type of testosterone replacement therapy.
AndroGel lawsuits are being filed against the following drug companies:
- Androgel (Abbvie/Abbott) – topical gel applied to the skin
- Androderm (Actavis) – patch applied to the skin
- Axirom (Eli Lilly) – topical cream applied to underarm
- Bio-T-Gel (BioSante/Teva) – topical gel applied to skin
- Delatestryl (Indevus) – intramuscular injection
- Depo-Testosterone (Pharmacia/Upjohn Company) – intramuscular injection
- Fortesta (Endo) – topical gel applied to skin
- Striant (Columbia Laboratories) – buccal tablet absorbed through the gums
- Testim (Auxilum/GlaxoSmithKline) – topical gel applied to skin
- Testopel (Auxilium) – subcutaneous pellet
3 Things You Should Know About A Testosterone Lawsuit
- As of this time, a Testosterone recall has not occurred. However, the FDA issued a Safety Announcement on March 3, 2015, warning the public that testosterone products are not approved for use in treating low testosterone as a result of aging.
- The testosterone lawsuits being filed this year claim the products are linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- There have been two jury trials regarding the use of testosterone supplements and cardiovascular issues. The first trial resulted in a $150 million verdict, and the second trial resulted in a $140 million verdict.
AndroGel Injuries You Can Sue For
Men who used testosterone products as prescribed by a doctor and suffered a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis may be eligible for compensation through a lawsuit. Relatives of men who died suddenly after using these products may also be eligible.
Testosterone increases the production of red blood cells, which can clump together or coagulate, essentially making blood thicker. That may be especially hazardous in men who have narrowed arteries because of aging and disease. There is a potential for harm, and people should know about this.
Injuries you can sue for include:
- Heart Attack: A study published in February 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found an association between testosterone treatment and a significant increase of coronary artery plaque, which can reduce the flow of oxygen to the heart
- Stroke: Studies found men who used testosterone products were 30 percent more likely to suffer from strokes. According to a Los Angeles Times report, some of the study participants had to undergo “emergency artery-clearing
- Deep Vein Thrombosis: Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis published a study in 2013 that found 1.2 percent of men who were hospitalized for deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism had developed the blood clots within three months of starting testosterone therapy
- Pulmonary Embolism: Blood clots caused by testosterone therapy can block arteries in the lungs
- Sudden cardiac death
Studies Highlight Serious Heart Risk for AndroGel, Testosterone Therapies – AndroGel Lawsuit
A study conducted by a group of researchers at the National Cancer Institute revealed that some men have an increased risk of suffering heart attacks while using prescription testosterone therapies. The study of approximately 56,000 patients found that men over the age of 65, as well as patients younger than 65 with a history of heart disease, had twice the rate of heart attacks in the three months after beginning testosterone therapy when compared to the year prior to treatment. The study also addressed whether these men were at a greater risk for cardiac problems due to an increase in libido caused by higher testosterone levels. When the study compared these men to a separate group of patients taking Viagra and Cialis, the men on the erectile dysfunction drugs patients did not experience more heart attacks.
FDA Involvement in the Testosterone Lawsuit
In March 2015, the FDA announced that all testosterone replacement therapies must have their labels updated after the agency reviewed several studies that suggested men using the “low T” therapies are at an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. In a drug safety communication, the agency said that the treatments have been overprescribed to men suffering from low testosterone due to aging, rather than a related medical issue. Therefore, the FDA said that the makers of these drugs must update their labels to include these risks and clarify the only approved use of the prescriptions.
Furthermore, the FDA warned doctors to only prescribe these treatments to men who have had medical tests performed verifying that their low testosterone levels are the result of hypogonadism or another medical issue.
Status of Testosterone Lawsuits
Testosterone litigation is ongoing. Those who believe they suffered a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis as a result of using testosterone products, such as AndroGel, can still sue for damages.
Testosterone litigation is in what’s called the bellwether trial phase. A small number of representative cases are going to trial first. The outcome of these cases could decide the fate of all pending lawsuits.
Why Should I File An AndroGel Lawsuit?
Treating a stroke, heart attack, or other cardiac event is often a difficult and expensive undertaking. In addition, when a loved one passes away from a cardiac event, the surviving family members are often left with substantial medical bills. A product liability lawsuit can allow patients and their loved ones to obtain compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Furthermore, taking legal action can help hold manufacturers accountable for releasing dangerous and defective products into the marketplace.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You With Your Testosterone Lawsuit
The attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm are investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of men who used testosterone therapies and suffered from heart attacks, strokes or other serious medical conditions. Testosterone therapies and other “low-T” treatments, which are available as testosterone gels, patches, pellets, and injections, have recently been linked to an increased risk of cardiac problems in older and middle-aged men with a history of heart disease.
At The Carlson Law Firm, we believe that the manufacturers of these testosterone therapies had a duty to warn patients about the risk of heart attack and stroke, but failed to provide any indication of these potential side effects on their products’ labeling or advertising materials.
If you or a loved one suffered a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism or another serious side effect while on testosterone therapy, our attorneys may be able to help you file a Testosterone lawsuit seeking compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages. To learn more about filing a lawsuit, contact us today for a free consultation.
A member of our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.