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AbbVie wins a medical malpractice lawsuit, others on appeal

The north-Chicago drug manufacturer AbbVie recently won one small victory in one medical malpractice case. The lawsuit involving its low-testosterone drug AndroGel was resolved in late January. A jury concluded that one 72-year-old plaintiff’s pulmonary embolism was not caused by the drug. This one success falls short from absolving them of all negligence, however.

In recent months, two other lawsuits were filed after the plaintiffs experienced heart attacks after using the drug. Both of these lawsuits have resulted in the plaintiffs being awarded $140 and $150 million settlements. AbbVie has already requested and had a federal judge agree to a new trial for one of those cases and an appeal is pending in the other.

The drug AndroGel, a topical prescription medication that was developed by AbbVie in 2000 is at the heart of these cases. It was long advertised in commercials as a medication that users would apply to their upper arms and chests to help decrease fatigue or body fat and to increase their libido.

Despite the advertised benefits of the medication, plaintiffs in thousands of other lawsuits have argued that AbbVie purposely targeted men who were older, yet neglected to mention the drug’s side effects. These include such medical events as strokes and heart attacks.

With the one recent case that AbbVie won, the male plaintiff from Arizona chronicled how he’d been prescribed and started using AndroGel in 2012. Two months into using it, he began experiencing extreme pain in his chest.

When he arrived at the hospital, he was told he had developed several blood clots throughout his lungs. He now says he will be on blood thinners for the rest of his life and that he’s never been able to recover the mobility he once enjoyed.

Another plaintiff has tried unsuccessfully to have a judge order that AbbVie turn over its internal records related to how the company’s executives intended to market the drug to make it more attractive to men. It’s unclear when a judge will enter in a decision related to that.

If you’ve suffered ill effects after having consumed a dangerous or defective drug, then a Chicago medical malpractice attorney can advise you of legal options available to you in your case.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “AbbVie, facing thousands of lawsuits about its AndroGel testosterone supplement, notches a significant win,” Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Feb. 09, 2018

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