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There are many men that have used testosterone replacement therapy and suffered heart attacks and other heart-related events. These men are now filing testosterone therapy lawsuits against the manufacturers of these low-T products. In Illinois, a federal multi-district litigation, or MDL, has been established.
Why Should You File a Testosterone Therapy Lawsuit?
Testosterone products have been prescribed to treat low-T, or low testosterone in men. These products have become very popular among young men seeking physical enhancement, and older men who wish to counter the signs of aging. However, recently, concerns have been growing that these products could actually have some serious side effects and even long-term risks, especially related to the heart.
After using these products, some men have suffered heart-related issues, stroke, cardiac arrest, and even other adverse side effects. These men are beginning to file testosterone therapy lawsuits, claiming that they were not properly educated on the risks before using these testosterone products. As the medical community begins to learn more about adverse effects as a result of testosterone therapies, the manufacturers’ statements regarding the benefits and risks of these products will come under much more examination.
Depending on how these products are being marketed to specific populations, such as to healthy men with no history of low testosterone or to elderly men experiencing low testosterone, they could be facing allegations of misleading these consumers about the benefits of testosterone therapy.
The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, made an announcement in January 2014 that they were planning to investigate the risks of heart attacks, stroke, and even death in men who were using low testosterone therapies that have been FDA-approved. There may be an increase in testosterone therapy lawsuits as the researchers begin to reveal more information regarding the long-term benefits and risks that are posed by using testosterone therapies.
Products used to Treat Low Testosterone
Research has shown that approximately three to seven percent of men experience low testosterone, or hypogonadism. Symptoms of low testosterone include: low libido, fatigue, and even infertility. There are many physicians and patients that have believed the claims that these medications have many benefits including an increase in strength and energy for workouts to men who do not suffer from low testosterone.
Low Testosterone Products
Following is a list of some of the products that have been used to treat low testosterone:
Concern is Increasing Surrounding Testosterone Therapy
In 1988, prescription sales of testosterone therapy was round $18 million. In 2011, that amount had increased to $1.6 billion. Between the years of 2001 to 2011, the percentage of men over the age of 40 that were taking testosterone therapy tripled. However, despite the popularity rise of these medications, many medical professionals are in disagreement over the benefits of these therapies.
Are there Specific Concerns Regarding Testosterone Therapy in Older Men?
There have already been some concerns regarding the risks caused by testosterone therapy in older men. According to one report from the Washington Times, a study was stopped in 2010 at the Boston University School of Medicine. The study was on older men using testosterone therapy. Compared with those subjects who were taking a placebo, those men taking the testosterone therapy were five times more likely to experience severe heart problems- including congestive heart failure.
Do the Benefits of Testosterone Therapy Outweigh the Risks?
There are some critics out there who are concerned that there has been no significant proof that these testosterone therapies offer any benefit to healthy men. In particular, there are some physicians that believe there should be more of an agreement about what exactly a normal testosterone level is. Physicians caution that since testosterone therapy is not a proven treatment, the risks could outweigh the benefits for healthy men. In fact, Dr. Adriane Fugh- Berman, of Georgetown University Medical Center, states that low testosterone syndrome has been invented by the pharmaceutical companies in order to sell their medications and that these therapies do not offer any proven benefits for healthy men.
Testosterone Therapy Lawsuit Status
In June 2014, a multi-district litigation, or MDL, was created by a federal judicial panel to cover all of the testosterone therapy lawsuits that were being filed against these companies. Forty-four cases were moved to the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. At this time, the total number of testosterone therapy lawsuits that are in this MDL is more than 175. Judge Matthew F. Kennelly is presiding over the pre-trial proceedings, including discovery.
The defendants in this MDL include:
- Pharmacia and Upjohn
- Auxilium Pharmaceuticals
The attorneys of the plaintiffs’ predict the number of testosterone therapy lawsuits will ultimately reach thousands.
The MDL panel issued an order and stated that all actions involve the plaintiffs and/or the survivors that have used one or more of the testosterone replacement therapies and are contending that their use or the use of these products by loved ones resulted in injuries. These injuries include stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), heart attack, and even pulmonary embolism. All of the actions will ask specific factual questions that are concerned with the cause and the background concerning the role of testosterone in an aging male’s body. Additionally, regulatory issues in light of the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement of the fact that the drug is not safe, and any actions that have been taken.
Do You Have Any Options?
If you or a loved one was prescribed low testosterone therapy for any reason, you should speak with that physician regarding recent research into these drugs and to be examined for any risks to your health or the health of your loved one. If you have suffered significant side effects as a result of using low testosterone therapies, you should consider speaking with an attorney about whether or not you should file for a testosterone therapy lawsuit.
While the controversy will continue, it has become abundantly clear that these drug manufacturers are reaping the rewards of successfully marketing these products for treating low testosterone. However, it has been reported that at least one of these manufacturers have come under fire for their marketing practices.
A whistleblower testosterone therapy lawsuit filed in a Texas Federal Court claims that Solvay Pharmaceuticals, formerly known as Unimed Pharmaceuticals, did use improper sales practices to market their product, AndroGel.
AndroGel was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA to treat the problem of low testosterone, or hypogonadism. However, it has been stated that the manufacturers of this drug recruited physicians to help AndroGel to ride on the “coat tails of Viagra.” This means that the physicians were to screen those patients who were taking Viagra for hypogonadism.
A former sales manager is involved in the lawsuit and claims that the high sales of AndroGel can be attributed to the company promoting the drug for off-label use- even though it was never approved to be a treatment for ED, or erectile dysfunction, like Viagra.
A recipe for pharmaceutical negligence and widespread injuries is formed by the serious health risks and their aggressive marketing practices for using this drug for off-label uses. Additionally, those companies that push to get a drug to the market without obtaining the proper approvals very often end up being accused of inadequately testing their product or even covering up the risks. When the pharmaceutical companies fail to warn the consumers of the risks and protect those consumers, they could end up being involved in a number of testosterone therapy lawsuits.
Details Regarding Unimed Pharmaceuticals
In 1999, Unimed projected treating 1 million men for low testosterone.
In 2000, when the drug was approved, they had increased this number to estimate treating around 5 million men for this disorder.
By the year 2003, this number had again been increased- now Unimed was expecting to treat around 20 million men- keep in mind that it has been estimated that there are 116 million men in the United States.
The current owner of AndroGel is Abbott Laboratories.
If you are looking to file a testosterone therapy lawsuit, then you will want to talk to an attorney. They can give you the options that you are looking for and give you advice as to whether or not you will be eligible to file for one of these lawsuits.