$150 Million Verdict Against AbbVie in “Low T” Trial
On July 24, 2017, jurors returned a $150 million verdict for the plaintiff
in the latest testosterone (“Low T”) trial against manufacturer,
AbbVie. Jurors decided that the drug maker fraudulently misrepresented
its product, AndroGel®, to the public in its marketing tactics. However,
the jurors did not find that AbbVie was responsible or negligent for the
plaintiff’s heart attack, which he alleged stemmed from four years
of use of Androgel®.
What are Low Testosterone Drugs?
AndroGel® is one of many testosterone drugs on the market. Testosterone
therapy is helpful when men develop a condition called hypogonadism, which
is when the body does not produce enough testosterone. Some men are born
with the condition while others develop it, usually from an injury or
an infection. Testosterone drugs were approved by the FDA for treatment
of this condition. However, many manufacturers of testosterone resorted
to aggressively marketing these drugs as treatment for the natural condition
of aging. This lead to the FDA requiring a label change in 2015. The label
cautions that testosterone products are approved only for men having low
testosterone levels caused by medical conditions. The FDA also requires
that the labels include the possibility of increased risk of heart attacks
and strokes associated with testosterone therapy.
What is the Status of the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) on “Low T”?
Currently there are over 6000 lawsuits filed by men in a multidistrict
litigation (MDL) against various manufacturers of testosterone replacement
therapy (including AndroGel®). The first trial in the MDL was declared
a mistrial after one of the plaintiff lawyers suffered health issues.
That testosterone trial is rescheduled for later this year. The latest
testosterone therapy trial resulted in a $150 million verdict. The trial
included testimony from the former commissioner of the FDA, David Kessler.
Kessler contended that AbbVie marketed its drug to men by basically inventing
a condition called “Low T” (low testosterone). Advertising
and marketing focused on symptoms such as low sex drive, weight gain and
loss of muscle mass. Kessler explained that these are conditions of the
natural aging process as opposed to a medical condition. The plaintiff
in this trial alleged that he used Androgel® for about four years
(2008 – 2012) after he saw television advertising for the drug.
He suffered a heart attack in 2012. Testosterone has been alleged to be
associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular episodes and stroke
in scientific studies.
The next testosterone trial is scheduled for August of 2017.
If you or a family member has suffered a stroke or a heart attack and you
believe it may be related to the use of AndroGel® or other testosterone
therapy drugs, you should immediately contact an attorney for a free consultation
about your potential lawsuit. Brett H. Oppenheimer is a lawyer in Louisville,
KY and is currently reviewing potential lawsuits for people using testosterone