A civil trial against the Chicago-based pharmaceutical manufacturer AbbVie resulted in a federal jury awarding a Collierville, Tennessee man $140 million on Thursday, October 5th.
At trial, the plaintiff had accused AbbVie of focusing their marketing efforts solely on AndroGel. They allege that the company championed the medication’s ability to cure a patient’s low energy and libido. As much as these efforts talked up what the drug could cure, they minimized any discussion of potential life-threatening cardiovascular risks, e.g., stroke or heart attack, it posed.
Also during the course of the trial, the plaintiff’s attorneys argued that they found that the drug manufacturer didn’t properly test the drug. They also argued that there was no disclosure about the aforementioned risks the drug posed when primary care providers prescribed it to their patients.
It’s only been within the past two years that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued notices to doctors warning them of the known risks involved in the use of testosterone products.
They now recommend that doctors first subject their patients to testing for low testosterone before prescribing it. They also suggest that it only be prescribed in situations in which the patient presents with other co-existing medical conditions causing those low hormone levels.
Also during the past two years, manufacturers of “low-T” drugs were ordered to place stroke or heart attack warning label on their drugs.
The plaintiff in this case has been described as being in his 50s. He was reportedly diagnosed as having low testosterone levels before he was prescribed AndroGel in 2010. Within two months of starting the drug, he suffered his heart attack. At trial, the man’s medical providers noted that the heart attack he suffered caused irreparable damage with which he will have to live for the remainder of his life.
In July, a different jury awarded a $150 million settlement to another plaintiff who’d also suffered a heart attack while on AndroGel.
The plaintiff’s attorney noted that he’s hopeful that these large settlements will send a strong message to pharmaceutical manufacturing companies that profits should never come before protecting patient health. AbbVie intends to appeal this latest ruling.
If you’ve been injured by a dangerous drug or because your doctor didn’t advise you of the risks it posed to your health, a Chicago medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit.
Source: Commercial Appeal, “Collierville man awarded $140 million in lawsuit over testosterone drug AndroGel,” Tom Charlier, accessed Nov. 08, 2017