As of August 2017, an update provided by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) indicated that 1,491 Taxotere hair loss claims were pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana. That represents an increase of 219 filings since the JPML issued its previous update in July, up from 1,272 reported cases.
Hodes Milman Ikuta is currently representing more than 50 women who have suffered from alopecia due to unnecessary use of the drug, which some experts call “toxic” and not necessarily more effective than alternative treatments. These cases, often regardless of state residence, will enter a JPML arrangement to speed up the legal process. There are hundreds more women believed to have pending Taxotere hair loss cases.
A Background on Taxotere
Taxotere was approved in the United States by the FDA in 1996 as a chemotherapy agent used to treat breast cancer, head and neck cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer. By the year 2000, the drug had made $424 million in sales, growing to $1.4 billion in 2004.
This rapid growth is what caught the attention of the FDA in 2009, when they sent a warning letter to the drug’s maker, Sanofi-Aventis, stating that the company’s marketing tactic “presents unsubstantiated superiority claims and overstates the efficacy of Taxotere.”
Allegations of Hair Loss and Alopecia Attributed to Taxotere
In 2010, media reports began to detail permanent alopecia occurring among breast cancer patients treated with Taxotere. The women interviewed for these reports indicated that they had been told their hair would grow back after treatment with Taxotere, and were never warned that permanent baldness was a possibility. This resulted in patients unable to opt for other treatments which may have been equally effective and less likely to result in permanent baldness.
Studies have also indicated that Taxotere may be more likely to cause permanent alopecia than other chemotherapy treatments:
- A study that appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2010 noted “an increasing number of reports of permanent chemotherapy-induced alopecia.” It is believed that Taxotere was responsible for most of these cases.
- In December 2015, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) updated the Adverse Events section of the Taxotere label to state that: “Cases of permanent alopecia have been reported.”
Have You Used Taxotere and are Suffering from Bald Spots or Alopecia?
If you used Taxotere for your cancer treatment, it may have been recommended to you to instead of alternative treatments, depending on your stage of cancer. Taxotere’s over-promotion is analogous to using a “hammer to kill a fly” approach in which thousands of women may have re-considered other drugs that were less toxic on their bodies. The drug maker marketed the drug as “more effective,” though it’s efficacy is directly linked to its toxicity.
If you have questions about the lawsuit, want to know more about eligibility for a lawsuit, or any detail associated with Taxotere’s use, contact our law firm to have your questions answered free of charge. You may also opt for a free and confidential consultation, without obligation to hire us if you choose to file a lawsuit. Nearly 1,500 women have already taken action to hold the drug maker accountable for their permanent hair loss. We encourage you to take a critical step and understand your rights, as well as the potential time limits which may apply so you can make an educated decision.
Speak with Senior Partner Dan Hodes by calling (949) 640-8222 today. While we are headquartered in California, our firm has represented women from around the United States in Pharmaceutical litigation cases.