Bloomberg News reports a significant number of cases against the makers of testosterone replacement therapy are now being consolidated. Up to 45 lawsuits in four different districts around the country will be centralized and handled by one federal judge in Chicago, with the potential of many more to come.
Abbott and AbbVie, a spin-off from Abbott’s research-based pharmaceutical business, are facing roughly 45 AndroGel cases thus far. After the spin-off, the U.S. commercial rights and responsibilities for AndroGel legally passed to AbbVie, which is based in North Chicago, Illinois.
What is the purpose of consolidation? A judge’s panel gave the following reasons:
- The lawsuits involve common questions of fact
- Centralizing them in Chicago will promote efficiency
- Convenience of parties and witnesses
- It will promote just and efficient conduct
The existing plaintiffs supported the consolidation, with one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys suggesting consolidation would help speed up the litigation. A spokesman for AbbVie said it supports the consolidation “…in the interest of consistency and efficiency.”
Other Manufacturers Oppose the Consolidation
Of interest is the fact that the other pharmaceutical companies that manufacture testosterone replacement therapies are against consolidating the cases. It appears they don’t want their lot thrown in with Abbott and AbbVie’s.
Pfizer Inc., which makes the Depo-Testosterone injection, opposed consolidating any lawsuits against its product with the AndroGel suits. Pfizer, along with a few other pharmaceutical defendants, was supporting a consolidation only for the gel-based testosterone therapies but ultimately lost their argument.
Combining all of the cases may not bode well for the pharmaceutical companies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already issued warnings about testosterone replacement therapies. Their findings suggest an increased risk of heart events in men over 65, and in men of any age who have heart disease. Given that the drug makers engaged in such heavy marketing, insisting that signs of aging could be fixed with a drug that was not approved for general purpose, they have exposed men to very serious health risks and themselves to considerable legal action.
If you or someone you know has been prescribed testosterone replacement drugs or gels and has experienced mild to severe symptoms like the ones described above, please do not hesitate. Call the Thomas Law Offices today to discuss your options, at (877) 955-7001.