In one of the most recent actions against the pushes of “Low-T” testosterone therapy drugs, a couple has filed a lawsuit against drug maker AbbieVie Inc. and Abbot Laboratories Inc., the manufacturers of a drug called AndroGel.
In Freeman v. AbbieVie, Inc., plaintiff alleges he was prescribed the drug to treat a number of symptoms purportedly caused by reduced levels of testosterone. Within several months of taking the drug, plaintiff asserts he started to suffer from a series of severe complications, which included pain and swelling in his groin, foot and leg.
He sought treatment from a primary care physician, who then referred him to the hospital for a full evaluation. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, a potentially fatal condition that results when a blood clot forms deep in one’s veins, usually in the legs.
Deep vein thrombosis has the potential to result in a pulmonary embolism, which can immediately mean death.
Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers understand in this case, plaintiff asserts he suffered severe blood clots over the course of the next year. In the fall of 2013, doctors diagnosed him as having suffered an ocular stroke, which resulted in a permanent decrease in vision. Because he can no longer perceive light in one eye – and the condition will never improve – he has been declared legally blind.
Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that these are conditions that not only required him to seek invasive and costly emergency medical treatment, they will also require ongoing medical care for the remainder of his life.
Defendants, he asserts, deceptively misrepresented and mischaracterized the condition of hypogonadism (when the body fails to produce enough testosterone) to both him and to his doctor. At no time did the drug maker warn that its product had the potential to cause blood clots, stroke, deep vein thrombosis or ocular stroke.
He is suing on the basis of negligent misrepresentation, design defect, breach of express warranty, strict product liability (failure to warn), breach of implied warranty, fraud and negligence. Additionally, his wife is joined as a party to the case for loss of consortium.
This medication is one of many still on the market that purports to treat low-level testosterone issues. But often, these medications do more harm than good, and patients and doctors may not be fully informed of the risks in the drugs used to treat low testosterone.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings indicating men who already have enlarged prostates could see their conditions worsen. Additionally, testosterone-boosting drugs are associated with higher rates of prostate cancer, reduced sperm counts, swelling of feet, ankles and body (sometimes with heart failure), enlarged or painful breasts, blood clots in the legs and/or lungs and sleep apnea.
The first lawsuits filed specifically against the makers of AndroGel arose in February 2014. That month, five men complained they had suffered serious side effects as a result of taking the drug. Two suffered strokes, one suffered a mini-stroke and the others indicated they had suffered heart attacks. Each asserted the drug was the cause of these conditions, and the company failed to warn them of the risks.
If you have been injured in West Palm Beach, contact the Hollander Law Firm at (888) 751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
Freeman v. AbbieVie, Inc., Jan. 29, 2015, Illinois Northern District Court
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