A California judge has combined all Atripla lawsuits against Gilead Sciences, Inc., concerning its tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) medications. The lawsuits will be coordinated as a single action to allow efficient adjudication in the California court system. This will help plaintiffs who claim injuries from Gilead’s medications to litigate their claims in one courtroom.
Gilead is based in Foster City, California. Prior to the case combination, plaintiffs throughout California had brought at least 26 complaints on behalf of hundreds of patients. Case coordination is typically sought to ensure consistent and quicker court rulings.
TDF is an antiviral medication that helps prevent the spread of HIV. It is sold under the name Atripla as well as Viread, Truvada, Complera, and Stribild. Lawsuits against Gilead have alleged serious side effects. They’ve also claimed that the company deliberately withheld a safer and more effective alternative to TDF medications. One drug, Atripla, has been the particular focus of such lawsuits across the country.
Atripla combines TDF with efavirenz (EFV) and emtricitabine (FTC), which help treat complications arising from HIV. The medication contains high concentrations of its constituent drugs and is usually taken as a once a day pill. It is known to cause side effects such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, stomach pain, muscle pain, diarrhea, nausea, and depression.
But Atripla and other TDF medications have also been linked to more severe health problems. Among these are complications affecting the bones. Osteoporosis and osteopenia (loss of bone density) have been reported in some patients. When bones become weaker and thinner, they are more likely to be fractured, even after minor injuries.
TDF drugs have also been connected to kidney problems such as:
- Acute kidney injury
- Acute renal failure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Reduced kidney function
- Fanconi syndrome
- Kidney tubular dysfunction
Gilead is alleged to have known about these and other side effects for years. Plaintiffs have claimed, however, that the company did not disclose information about such problems as required by law. Even worse, the company may have developed a safer drug containing tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF). Atripla Lawsuits allege that Gilead hid research showing that lower doses of TAF medications achieve virtually the same result. But instead of pulling the more toxic TDF drugs from the market, Gilead allegedly kept TAF on the shelf. The company has been accused of waiting until the TDF patents expire to sell TAF drugs.
Meanwhile, patients were sold less safe, less effective medicines like Atripla. Companies that engage in these deceptive practices prevent patients from making informed choices about their health. They also make it more difficult for doctors to adequately treat diseases.
The action in California gives renewed hope to patients across the United States who are seeking justice for TDF injuries. Lawsuits have alleged failure to warn, manufacturing defects, and strict liability, among other claims. Plaintiffs have sought compensation for economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical expenses to treat complications resulting from Atripla and other TDF medications
- Future medical expenses for continued treatment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event of wrongful death
- Legal fees
The mass tort attorneys of Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. are investigating Atripla and TDF drug injury claims. We encourage injured patients or their families to reach out to us.
FIGHTING FOR THE COMPENSATION THAT INJURED PATIENTS DESERVE
When companies put profits over people, they endanger public health. No one should have to wonder if the medicines they take cause side effects they weren’t told about. If you have been hurt by Atripla or other drugs containing TDF, we want to hear from you. Contact the team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.