Law firms in Jacksonville FL like Edwards & Ragatz consider drug manufacturers as well when reviewing cases. Manufacturers of testosterone therapy drugs put out all-pervading print, television and internet advertising, asking men to speak with their doctors about “Low T.” Even with this blanket marketing campaign, there is testosterone litigation rising due to claims of heart attacks and stroke by those taking supplements.
Nearly 5,000 Testosterone lawsuits have been filed against drug manufacturers including AbbVie Inc., Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, and Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. as part of multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Illinois. The claims against Pfizer, its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn, and Auxilum, an Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. unit are part of a sprawling multi-district litigation against manufacturers of testosterone replacement therapy drugs (TRTs). The lawsuits allege that drugmakers invented a disease and used fraudulent and aggressive marketing campaigns to sell TRTs for off-label uses despite known but intentionally unadvertised, health risks such as an increased risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Most of the lawsuits have been brought against AbbVie Inc., makers of Androgel, which is the most heavily marketed and widely used TRT. Six bellwether trials are scheduled to begin in October 2016 and continue until April 2017. The second bellwether group for other TRT drugs is not expected to begin until late 2017.
Edwards & Ragatz is the best of the law firms in Jacksonville FL with experience in an array of cases. Lawsuits filed by health insurers alleging the pharmaceutical companies caused them to pay for medically unnecessary uses of TRTs are also included in the MDL. The MDL was established in June 2014 and initially included only eight separate lawsuits. The rapid growth to thousands of cases coincides with the dramatic rise in use of testosterone. Prescription sales of TRTs have increased from $18 million in 1988 to $1.6 billion in 2011 as the percentage of men over 40 using TRTs has tripled during the same period.
Testosterone products were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat medically low testosterone levels, but have stated that testosterone products should not be used in men who are experiencing reduced testosterone due to aging. However, studies have linked the use of testosterone drugs to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. A 2010 study found that men taking testosterone drugs compared to men taking a placebo were five times as likely to experience severe heart problems such as congestive heart failure.
Further, testosterone therapies are not proven treatments, and no proof exists that TRTs benefit healthy men. Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman of Georgetown University Medical Center stated that testosterone therapy “offers no proven benefits for healthy men. Low T [testosterone] syndrome is invented by pharmaceutical companies to sell treatment products.” The rise in sales suggest that TRTs are being marketed and used for off-label purposes by men with no medical need for it including use “extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging,” said the FDA. The TRTs are popular among older men to counter the signs of aging and among younger men seeking physical enhancement.
FDA required warnings and research
In response to the research and an FDA investigation conducted in 2014, the FDA directed manufacturers to conduct additional research and required drug makers warn patients that the products may increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes.
If you or a loved one suffered from any form of medical malpractice, allow law firms in Jacksonville FL to provide a free consultation. Contact an esteemed personal Jacksonville medical malpractice attorney at Edwards & Ragatz for a free consultation: (800) 366-1609; locally – (904) 399-1609; or through our website www.edwardsragatz.com