Plaintiffs involved in litigation revolving around permanent hair loss from the cancer drug Taxotere recently learned the first case in their multi-district litigation has been set for trial in September 2018.
The plaintiffs involved in the litigation have claimed that they were not warned prior to taking Taxotere that it could cause alopecia, a medical condition in which the immune system attacks hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. While hair loss is often a common occurrence with chemotherapy, plaintiffs have alleged that Taxotere is far more likely to cause permanent alopecia compared to other equally effective cancer drugs.
Taxotere was introduced by Sanofi-Aventis in 1996. It was approved in the U.S. for the treatment of various cancers: breast cancer, advanced stomach cancer, head and neck cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and metastatic prostate cancer. Following the expiration of Sanofi’s patent in 2010, the FDA approved marketing of the generic version of Taxotere – docetaxel – the following year.
It wasn’t until 2015 that permanent alopecia was first included as a possible Taxotere side effect was on the drug’s U.S. labeling. Plaintiffs in the MDL have cited several studies, which allegedly demonstrate that Sanofi was aware of the potential for permanent alopecia for years before the label was modified. It has also been noted by plaintiffs that the European medical community was informed of this risk in 2005, and the Canadian Taxotere label had undergone a similar modification in 2012.
According to studies, the risk of permanent alopecia resulting from taking Taxotere is between 6 and 10 percent. Many of the plaintiffs have claimed that they could have taken other equally effective chemotherapy drugs that wouldn’t have resulted in permanent hair loss, but were never warned of the risks by their oncologists. The trauma of permanent hair loss for cancer patients is severe, a constant reminder that they remain victims of the disease.
At Saunders & Walker, we continue represent patients harmed by dangerous drugs and defective medical devices. If you or a loved has taken Taxotere for cancer treatment, and it resulted in permanent hair loss, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.
Admitted to practice law in all federal multidistrict litigation courts, the California State Bar and the Florida Bar. His philosophy is to provide aggressive, quality representations and seek fair compensation for individuals and their families who have suffered injury, death, or sexual abuse.