What is Taxotere?
Taxotere is widely prescribed for breast cancer as it can slow or even stop cancer cells from dividing and multiplying. What comes to issue is that survivors can suffer permanent hair loss known as alopecia as a side effect of the drug. Alopecia can also result in the permanent loss of a person’s eyebrows and eyelashes. Hair loss associated with it might only be slowed down with other medications that carry their own risks.
Taxotere is Widely Used
About 75 percent of all women with a history of breast cancer have been treated with Taxotere. The National Cancer Treatment Institute noted at 10 to 15 percent of all women treated with the drug experienced permanent hair loss.
Federal Litigation is Pending
More than 2,400 lawsuits against the manufacturer of Taxotere allege that it knew that the drug might cause permanent hair loss, but the company failed to warn doctors or patients of that risk. False marketing allegations have also been made against the manufacturer. The lawsuits are scattered in state and federal courts throughout the United States. More than 90 percent of them have been filed in 25 different federal courts. Those lawsuits have been centralized into multidistrict litigation in a single Louisiana federal courtroom for purposes of fairness and convenience. A few of the lawsuits have been dismissed, but more than 2,300 remain on the court’s docket. More Taxotere lawsuits are being filed. These are individual lawsuits. They’re not involved with class actions.
Failure to Warn
Hair loss is common for women with breast cancer who are using chemotherapy drugs. Permanent hair loss isn’t common at all. It’s disfiguring for a lifetime, and a psychological tragedy. Victims complain of depression and social phobia along with both professional and marital difficulties. The primary allegation against the manufacturer of Taxotere is that it knew of the connection between the drug and permanent hair loss, but it failed to warn users of the drug of that risk when other chemotherapy drugs were available and similarly effective without that risk. Here are some other material allegations against the manufacturer:
- It marketed and sold the drug without properly testing it.
- The drug was marketed and sold without disclosing its risks.
- There was insufficient warning to doctors and patients about permanent hair loss.
- Appropriate information about the drug’s side effects was improperly withheld.
- It falsely assured doctors and patients that lost hair would grow back.
- It warned women in other countries of the risk of permanent hair loss, but withheld that warning from women in the United states.
The Kickback Allegations
Some of the lawsuits against Taxotere’s manufacturer claim that sales of the drug increased from $424 million in 2000 to $1.4 billion in 2004 as a result of kickbacks to retailers and doctors. It stands accused of preying on vulnerable individuals who are confronting the most difficult times of their lives while it made billions of dollars. In 2009, the manufacturer make more than $3 billion off of Taxotere.
Contact a Louisville Kentucky Defective Drug Lawyer
If you developed permanent hair loss from Taxotere, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. At the National Cancer Conference in 2014, researchers reported that up to 15 percent of all patients who used Taxotere suffered permanent hair loss. Strong evidence points to the manufacturer knowing about the potential for this side effect, but it failed to warn physicians and patients of this risk. If you suffered alopecia from Taxotere, the drug’s manufacturer will have seasoned and highly trained defense attorneys on its side of the case. You deserve the same quality of representation to bring your case forward.