Breast cancer survivors, along with family members and friends of those whose lives were claimed by the cancer, have been marking the time officially set aside each year to raise awareness about the terrible disease. It is a battle that changes the lives it touches in many ways.
Some breast cancer survivors have also been left with an enduring, physical reminder of their battle – permanent alopecia – thanks to the cancer drug Taxotere.
Taxotere is manufactured by French drugmaker Sanofi Aventis and is two times as potent as its safer alternative, Bristol-Meyers Squibb’s Taxol, as Beasley Allen has previously explained. Although the two drugs have the same efficacy, Taxol does not destroy hair follicles, which may occur in patients taking Taxotere.
While hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy treatment, cancer patients find some solace in the fact that their hair will likely return one day. However, plaintiffs, including those in a multidistrict litigation (MDL), argue that Sanofi failed to warn them that hair loss caused by Taxotere could be permanent.
The company knew about the potential side effect and warned patients outside of the U.S. beginning in 2005, but failed to caution U.S. consumers for a decade after issuing warnings in other countries. Sanofi refused to warn U.S. consumers until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanded it update the label with a warning.
The Taxotere MDL was established in Oct. 2016, consolidating the cases in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana before Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation latest report shows that 1,624 claims are currently included in the MDL.
Lawyers at Beasley Allen are currently investigating potential cases involving individuals who have suffered permanent hair loss following chemotherapy with Taxotere. For more information on this subject, contact Beau Darley or Melissa Prickett, lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Beau.Darley@beasleyallen.com or Melissa.Prickett@beasleyallen.com.
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation