Researchers link AndroGel, a popular testosterone therapy prescription to severe cardiac complications including heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, blood clots, and death. Men who use AndroGel are twice as likely to have heart attacks within 90 days of beginning treatment compared to men who did not take testosterone.
The FDA approved testosterone products like AndroGel to treat hypogonadism. This illness is rare but happens to 4 to 5 million men in the United States. With hypogonadism, a man cannot produce sufficient amounts of testosterone. A blood test will confirm the disease.
To make more money, companies did not tell men about hypogonadism. Instead, they pushed testosterone products to help with male aging. Through marketing campaigns, manufacturers convinced thousands of men that they were suffering from low testosterone. They didn’t push for blood tests but self-diagnosis tests on their website. AbbVie swears their marketing of AndroGel adhered strictly to uses approved by the FDA. Plus, they insist they were in full compliance with other applicable standards.
Statistics have shown that as many as half of all men prescribed testosterone replacement therapy drugs do not have hypogonadism. Twenty-five percent of those men never even had blood tests before getting the medications.
In 2014, the FDA announced it was investigating the possible risk of stroke, heart attack and death in men taking testosterone products. The investigation came from studies documenting an increased risk of cardiovascular problems among men prescribed testosterone therapy.
One study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, linked testosterone therapy to heightened rates of heart attack and stroke among older patients treated in the VA healthcare system. Another study used the health records of more than 55,000 men. Researchers found that men 65 or older suffered twice as many heart attacks on prescription testosterone. Shockingly, this risk was apparent within the first 90 days of taking the drugs.
A federal jury in Chicago found AbbVie Inc, the manufacturer of AndroGel fraudulently misrepresented the risks of its testosterone replacement drug. They ordered the company to pay the victim, Jeffery Konrad, $140 million in punitive damages. This is the second verdict against AbbVie from more than 6,000 similar lawsuits aimed at helping plaintiffs receive compensation for cardiac problems experienced while on the medication.
The verdict was comprised of $140 million in punitive damages, intended to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar behavior, and $140,000 in compensatory damages.
The jury heard the story of Jeffrey Konrad. He is a 56-year-old man who was using AndroGel for two months before suffering from a heart attack. Thankfully, he recovered, but AbbiVie contented his heart attack was from other factors like obesity and high blood pressure. However, this isn’t the first time a jury found that AbbiVie fraudulently misrepresented Androgel’s risks. A federal jury in another case sided with the plaintiff and ordered the company to pay $150 million in punitive damages.
Testosterone Manufacturers are Accountable
Testosterone therapy industry has turned into a multibillion-dollar industry. Each year, American men spend $2 billion on testosterone. In fact, four times as many men used testosterone products in 2014 than in 2000. This also means that roughly 2.3 million Americans use this drug. Pharmaceutical drug manufacturers are responsible for informing people of all negative effects and risks associated with their medications. If people are not provided this information, they cannot make the best choices about their health.
How many of the men who chose to take these drugs would have made a different decision if they knew this information?
Seek Legal Help
If you or a man you know has suffered adverse cardiac effects as a result of taking testosterone therapy, you should consult with an attorney to explore your legal rights. The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is committed to litigating these cases and placing accountability on the responsible drug manufacturers.
Contact us today by calling (877) 513-9517 or fill out the form for a free consultation. There is no obligation.