If you or a close relative had a significant adverse reaction to testosterone replacement therapy, you might have a claim. Side effects of testosterone can include things like an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, pulmonary embolism, heart disease, prostate cancer, and other conditions.
Call Berger and Green today at 412-661-1400 to schedule a free case evaluation with a testosterone replacement therapy lawsuit lawyer to see if you might have a claim for injuries from testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Lawsuits
Lawsuits about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) focus on two main issues:
- Whether testosterone therapy is safe.
- Whether the drug manufacturers used accurate marketing tactics to promote the product.
The Magnitude of the TRT Litigation
According to the Chicago Tribune, there were almost 7,000 TRT lawsuits in various states. Around 4,200 of the lawsuits claimed that the leading TRT product, AndroGel, a product of AbbVie, caused them harm.
Plaintiffs claimed that AbbVie targeted older men but did not give them enough warning about the risks of using AndroGel. The lawsuits assisted by testosterone replacement therapy lawsuit lawyers allege that the prescription gel that men applied to their arms and chest caused them to experience strokes, blood clots, and heart attacks.
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The Back Story of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
The FDA approved AndroGel to treat hypogonadism, a medical condition in which an individual has abnormally low testosterone brought on by trauma, illness, or genetic defect.
Drug companies created the term “low-T” to describe age-related symptoms many men experience, including low sex drive, fatigue, and increased body fat. Although the FDA did not approve of the use of testosterone replacement products for low-T, drug companies engaged in marketing that promoted the use of TRT formulations to treat these conditions.
After tapping into the market of frustrated older men, the drug makers made billions of dollars from this off-label use of testosterone. “Off-label” means that a drug gets used for some purpose other than the one for which the FDA gave approval.
Adverse Reactions to TRT Products
The Mayo Clinic warns that testosterone therapy has risks that an older person should consider before undergoing TRT. Testosterone therapy could cause a mature man to experience an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein in a deep location, often in the calf. If the clot breaks loose, it could travel through the bloodstream to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. Additional possible reactions include:
- Growth of existing prostate cancer or stimulated noncancerous growth of the prostate
- Decreased sperm production
- Testicle shrinkage
- Enlarged breasts
- Skin conditions including acne
- Sleep apnea
If you have a medical reason that causes an unusually low level of testosterone, TRT might be an appropriate treatment. The “symptoms” of low-T, however, are merely associated with normal aging, so testosterone therapy may pose risks.
The Mayo Clinic says that it is not clear whether TRT provides any of the benefits mature men are seeking from the drug. While testosterone therapy is effective when used to treat hypogonadism, the few studies on the off-label uses reveal mixed results for older men.
The bottom line is that the pharmaceutical companies:
- Marketed a drug for a purpose the FDA did not approve;
- Did not warn adequately about the risks to older men, who were its target audience; and
- Might not have even delivered the off-label benefits advertised.
Juries have made the drug makers pay millions of dollars to people they harmed through the low-T use of testosterone replacement therapy products. The pharmaceutical companies have settled thousands of TRT lawsuits out of court.
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The Bellwether Cases
When there are numerous lawsuits alleging essentially the same claims, sometimes the courts will consolidate cases to have one judge hear many of them. The judge will designate several cases as “bellwether cases,” which means that all the other lawsuits will be paused until the bellwether cases go to trial.
The purpose of bellwether cases is to select some representative lawsuits to indicate how successful the claims will be in other cases. After the trials of the bellwether cases, the judge can direct the defendants to reach settlements with the plaintiffs and use the initial trials as guidance.
There were six bellwether TRT cases in the federal courts. The plaintiffs in the bellwether cases alleged that TRT caused them to suffer pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and heart attacks. The defendant drug makers won three of the cases but had to pay millions of dollars in the others. Legal commentators suggest that plaintiffs and defendants have the motivation to settle claims in such situations where there is no clear pattern of the outcome.
TRT Lawsuit Settlements
The defendants in the TRT lawsuits settled the pending lawsuits after the first trials, but they have not disclosed the amounts of the settlements to the public. Eli Lilly, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Endo Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline settled pending claims in 2017. Actavis and AbbVie announced settlements in 2018.
What to Do if You Suspect That Testosterone Replacement Therapy Caused an Adverse Reaction
Testosterone therapy can cause many different undesired side effects, so it can be hard to know for certain if you experienced a severe side effect from TNT. You might be eligible for damages if you had a complication after taking TRT for “low-T.”
Significant adverse events can include:
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
- Prostate cancer
A testosterone replacement therapy lawsuit lawyer can help you go after compensation for your losses. At Berger and Green, we can take a look at your situation and evaluate whether you might have a claim for damages from TRT.
We do not charge upfront legal fees on these cases. We handle TRT lawsuits on a contingent fee basis, which means that we do not get paid until you win compensation. Our fee will come out of the settlement proceeds or verdict.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 to line up your free consultation for a case evaluation. There is no obligation.