Testosterone replacement products bring in billions for drug companies each year. Some experts say that number could reach $5 billion by 2017.
Critics say drug companies pushed misleading ads to men seeking the fountain of youth.
In 2014, the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen petitioned the FDA to include a black box warning on safety labels. The agency initially responded to the petition by saying the FDA has not concluded that FDA-approved testosterone treatment increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death. But in 2015, the FDA reconsidered and ordered drug makers to add stroke and heart attack warnings to labels and safety information.
Now, eight lawsuits that allege testosterone drugs caused heart attacks and blood clots will be heading to trial in 2017, according to court documents.
In August of this year, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelley signed an order selecting four heart attack and stroke claims and four blood clot cases for bellwether trials. The outcome of these cases could likely influence future litigation in more than 6,000 testosterone lawsuits pending before Judge Kennelley in The Northern District of Illinois.
These eight bellwether cases allege AbbVie, the maker of AndroGel, knew about the risk of cardiovascular issues such as heart attack, stroke and blood clots but did not warn patients and doctors, among other claims.
“The parties should assume that the Konrad case (Case No. 15 C 966) will be the first case tried, assuming it survives until trial,” Judge Kennelley wrote in his order. “The Court reserves for later determination the sequence of the remaining cases.”
Jeffrey Konrad’s lawsuit is the first scheduled for trial in 2017.
“To obtain the greatest benefit from the bellwether process, the cases selected for bellwether trials should offer guidance to the majority of other cases in the litigation,” plaintiff’s attorneys wrote in the initial bellwether proposal in July 2016. “The purpose of selecting initial trial cases from a large pool of bellwether discovery cases is to learn and test general issues for the benefit of all—the Court, Plaintiffs, and Defendants.”
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Thanks to: drugwatch