AndroGel Testosterone Therapy Lawsuits Allege Manufacturer Hid Dangers from Consumers
Five men have filed personal injury lawsuits against the testosterone replacement drug, AndroGel, alleging that the company hid the cardiovascular dangers of the drug.
The complaints were filed in the federal court of Chicago on February 5th, just a few days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would look into the safety of testosterone therapy and replacement drugs that it had previously approved.
The AndroGel lawsuits were filed on behalf of Michael Gallagher, of Midlothian Virginia; Steven Myers, of Fort Worth, Texas; Steve Marino, of Saint Louis, Missouri; and Kenneth Aurecchia, of Johnston, Rhode Island. The men range from 50 to 63, and deny any previous history of cardiac problems. Gallagher, Myers, and Aurecchia said they suffered heart attacks, and Marino suffered a stroke. A fifth unnamed plaintiff suffered a mini-stroke.
The men’s lawsuits claim that Abbott and AbbVie, the manufacturers of AndroGel, “deceived potential AndroGel users by relaying positive information through the press, including testimonials from retired professional athletes” and statistics suggesting a widespread need for the drugs, “while downplaying known adverse and serious health risks.”
Abbott marketed AndroGel directly to consumers between 2010 and 2012. This direct-to-consumer marketing was referred to in the complaints as “disease mongering,” luring potential consumers in by making vague claims about low energy and “grumpiness” being related to low testosterone levels.
The FDA approved AndroGel specifically for low testosterone levels related to hypogonadism, but not related to age. However, some recent studies have shown that doctors often fail to test their patients for low testosterone levels and go directly to prescribing testosterone therapies like AndroGel.
The number of prescriptions for testosterone therapy rose to 5.3 million in 2011 alone.
FDA Will Investigate Previously-Approved Testosterone Therapies Like AndroGel
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement on Friday, January 31st, that the agency will investigate reported risks for heart attack and stroke associated with testosterone therapy.
The statement was spurred by two recently published studies involving low testosterone – one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the other published in PLoS One. Both studies concluded thattestosterone therapy, which is prescribed for a variety of problems from low energy to low sex drive, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes in various groups of men. The JAMA study followed 8,700 men nationally, men who underwent testosterone therapy were 30% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or die from a cardiac episode, during a three-year period than men with low testosterone who did not take supplements. The most recent study, published in PLoS One, followed 56,000 men – 48,000 of whom were under 65 – for 90 days while they underwent testosterone therapy. The study concluded that the risk of heart attack for men over 65 years of age doubled in the short 3-month time span after they began testosterone therapy, as well as for the men under 65 years old who had a history of heart disease.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Dangerous Drug Cases, Including Testosterone Therapy and Supplements like AndroGel
Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. is a leader in the consumer protection battle against dangerous prescription drugs and medical devices, from AndroGel to Zoloft. We represent individuals who have been killed or injured by dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals. If you or a family member have been injured or killed after using a dangerous drugs or medical products such as testosterone therapy or supplements, contact our dangerous drug lawyers as soon as possible so that we can begin taking steps to preserve evidence and your claim immediately. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800