More than a thousand cancer survivors have filed lawsuits against Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (parent company Sanofi S.A.) alleging it knew Taxotere could cause permanent hair loss. Several studies have now linked this chemotherapy medication, as well as others containing the medication docetaxel, with the development of alopecia areata. Many women who took the drug to fight breast cancer recovered from the disease, but their hair never grew back.
If you took Taxotere as a part of your chemotherapy regimen and now suffer from permanent hair loss, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer and join the multidistrict litigation now in progress. Call the legal team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a time to discuss your condition with a Taxotere permanent hair loss lawsuit lawyer.
What Is the Issue People Experience with Taxotere and other Docetaxel drugs?
Many people prescribed Taxotere (and the generic equivalent docetaxel) developed alopecia areata, an immune system disorder that results in permanent hair loss. Most cancer patients expect to lose their hair during treatment because it is a side effect of many chemotherapy drugs. However, it usually returns quickly after they finish treatment.
For some who took Taxotere, though, it never grew back. Even though they successfully battled cancer, they cannot put the experience behind them because their hair loss is a constant reminder of the disease.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Taxotere in 1999, and it quickly went into use for patients with breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and prostate cancer. A generic version hit the market in 2011.
Tens of thousands of cancer patients in the United States alone have received this chemotherapy drug since then, and many are now speaking out about the side effect that left them unable to regrow the hair they lost due to their cancer treatment.
Has the FDA Taken Action to Add Additional Warnings About Hair Loss to Taxotere?
The FDA took action in December of 2015, adding a warning about permanent hair loss to the package inserts and labels of Taxotere and other related drugs. This change came, in part, because of several studies that found around one out of every ten people who underwent treatment utilizing the drug developed permanent hair loss.
The Louisiana MDL alleges that Sanofi-Aventis knew of the potential for permanent hair loss as early as 2005. The GEICAM 9805 study, sponsored by Sanofi, found that 9.2 percent of patients had “persistent alopecia” for at least 10 years.
A British study published in 2014 by the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre found even more shocking results. The study looked at patients treated with Taxotere and other docetaxel drugs in the first 3.5 years after finishing their chemotherapy. This study found that between 10 and 15 percent were unable to regrow their hair during this period.
For many plaintiffs, the FDA action was too little too late. They claim other countries warned patients of the possibility of permanent hair loss as much as a decade earlier.
What Is the Current Status of Taxotere Permanent Hair Loss Lawsuits?
More than a thousand cancer survivors are claiming Aventis Inc. failed to warn doctors or the patients taking the drug about the high risk of permanent hair loss. This risk, according to the lawsuits, is much higher than with other similar chemotherapy drugs that are just as effective at treating the condition.
They allege the company is guilty of marketing a defective design, and fraudulently misrepresenting the product, among other claims. Most of the plaintiffs say they would have opted for another drug if they had known of the risk.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the Taxotere lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer on October 4, 2016. By grouping them into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Eastern District of Louisiana for the pretrial phase, a single judge can oversee the discovery process and any pretrial motions. This should help the courts process the cases faster, as well as save the plaintiffs money. As of September 15, 2017, there were over 1,600 cases pending in the MDL.
Currently, the parties are gathering evidence and sharing information. This is known as the discovery process, and can take several months or more than a year to complete.
Once the pretrial phase is over, the court will hear several bellwether cases. These cases will give all parties a chance to present their evidence and try their case. While these bellwether cases do not offer any legally binding decision for any other lawsuit in the MDL, the outcome often plays a major role in influencing the other judges who will hear these cases in their original jurisdictions.
Currently, the first bellwether trial is set to begin on September 24, 2018.
While the MDL is already underway, it adds new cases regularly. If you believe you may suffer from permanent hair loss after taking chemotherapy that included Taxotere, we can help you file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the drug. This may allow you to collect compensation for your physical and emotional damages due to your permanent hair loss.
How Can I Talk to a Taxotere Permanent Hair Loss Lawsuit Lawyer About My Case?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our legal team can help you understand your legal options for compensation if you suffer from permanent hair loss after taking Taxotere or a similar product. We will fight for the full amount of compensation due to you, including the emotional damages you suffered in addition to your cancer battle.
Call our team today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our Taxotere lawsuit attorneys.