Testosterone Replacement Lawsuits Filed in North Carolina; More to Follow

A lawsuit has been filed against AbbVie, makers of AndroGel, which is a testosterone gel used to treat conditions in men who suffer from a lack of natural testosterone.

Earlier last week, we reported to you about the increased risk in men taking these testosterone supplements and developing heart attacks. We are writing this update to inform you of this lawsuit, and how many others are set to follow.

The lawsuit was filed by a North Carolina man claiming that AbbVie failed to warn consumers that the testosterone gel would cause a pulmonary embolism.

AbbVie’s AndroGel is a topical gel, applied as a testosterone replacement thereapy to the upper arms for men who suffer from a testosterone deficiency caused by medical conditions such as hypogonadism. Hypogonadism causes the hematocrit level to increase, thereby thickening the blood. If not controlled, this could cause serious health issues such as pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, and other blood clots.

As mentioned in the testosterone blog from last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved testosterone replacement therapy only to treat mean with medical conditions that resulted in lower levels of testosterone than normal. However, the plaintiff in this case said that he began taking AndroGel after seeing an advertisement which encouraged older men to use the product if they are suffering from a lowered sex drive, weight gain, depression, or a lack of energy.

The FDA, who normally stays out of approved products unless there are serious concerns, announced plans of an investigation into potential testosterone therapy risks. A recent study, published in PLOSOne, indicated that low testosterone treatments may double the risk of heart attack for younger men with heart disease and men over the age of 65, regardless of their prior heart conditions.

Studies have suggested that many men receiving testosterone treatment have no real medical need for the drugs. Although additional research has linked these testosterone treatments to an increased risk of heart attack, many of the testosterone drugs fail to mention this risk on their labels.

Testosterone replacement therapy is rapidly evolving into a profitable business. In fact, sales reached almost $2 billion in 2012, with over 5.3 million prescriptions written in 2011. However, it may turn out that most of those profits will be put towards funding, settling, and paying the large-scale number of lawsuits that is expected to follow the one mentioned earlier in this blog post.

We welcome your comments and thoughts on this article. Feel free to comment on this blog post. For more information, contact a Gacovino Lake attorney at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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