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Taxotere: Side Effects, permanent hair loss and lawsuits

Important Taxotere Lawsuit Update For Canadian Residents: Click For Taxotere Lawsuit Information

Taxotere MDL

Federal multi-district litigation is about to get underway in the US District Court in New Orleans for the recently consolidated product liability lawsuits alleging that the chemo drug Taxotere caused permanent hair loss.

Before the MDL was created, lawsuits had began to be filed in Federal courts across the country, alleging that Taxotere caused permanent hair loss (alopecia) in women. Although hair loss is a common temporary side effect of chemotherapy, permanent alopecia is not.

These suits allege that the manufacturer (Sanofi) failed to update the warnings for Taxotere, failed to show the results of additional studies despite learning the facts about the risks of Taxotere, fraudulently concealed the fact that Taxotere caused permanent alopecia unlike other chemo drugs used for the treatment of breast cancer and engaged in a fraudulent marketing scheme, which involved paying kickbacks and providing other unlawful incentives to entice physicians to prescribe Taxotere.

These cases have now been consolidated into the Federal court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. About 90 cases are pending in the MDL In Re: Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2740. US District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt issued Pretrial Order 1 on October 13, 2016, announcing that he will convene the Initial Case Management Conference on November 10, 2016. The order directs that the parties submit proposed discovery plans that contain expert discovery deadlines, and a suggested schedule for joinder of parties, amendment of pleadings and consideration of class action allegations by November 2nd.

Although Taxotere has been on the market for two decades, it was only in December 2015 that the manufacturer began warning women in the US about the possibility of permanent hair loss.

The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com will continue to monitor the orders issued by the Court.
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Where Taxotere Fell Short and why the lawsuits?

ThelawFirm.com attorneys are actively investigating the cancer drug Taxotere.
To be honest, we were incredibly skeptical when we heard about this. We heard that it is a drug used to treat cancer victims and it can cause permanent hair loss.

Our initial thought was that if it saved a life who could complain? Hair loss seems like a silly thing to sue over if you are alive because of the drug.

However, as we investigated a little more, we learned additional facts that now suggest our initial reaction was not correct.

• The first thing to know is that cancer is not an automatic death sentence.
• Yes, it is incredibly scary. But the mortality rate of many cancers, if caught early, is actually quite low.
• For example, the 5-year relative survival rate for women with stage 0 or stage I breast cancer is close to 100%. For women with stage II breast cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 93%. Other cancers are equally survivable.

Therefore, the premise that you need a particular drug just to stay alive is wrong.

That is where our initial reaction started to unravel. What we discovered was that an equally effective drug was available that did not cause permanent hair loss.

What makes this ugly is that the manufacturer of Taxotere did not warn anyone.

This is particularly harmful to women. If a man goes bald, it is not necessarily a big deal. But if you are a 35 year old woman who has stage I breast cancer and take Taxotere and then go bald for life (and long after your cancer is gone) that IS a big deal.

What makes it worse is that in Europe and Canada the manufacturer started warning patients about the possibility of permanent hair loss. So why not in the United States? Why not at least give women the choice?

That is often the complaint from TheLawFirm.com. Talcum powder is another perfect example. Even if the possibility is small, why doesn’t Johnson and Johnson at least tell women that there is some chance that using talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer? Allow them to choose to use it.

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Taxotere Side Effects

Breast cancer survivors suffered Permanent Hair Loss after Taking Taxotere

Surviving breast cancer takes an incredible amount of courage and determination. But even if you’ve been declared cancer-free, you might still be suffering.  
 
Permanently losing your hair can be an ordeal of its own. Permanent hair loss in women is a serious issue that can negatively affect your physical and emotional life in many ways.   

Cancer Facts

The average 5-year survival rate for people with breast cancer is 89%
The 10-year rate is 83%
The 15-year rate is 78%
If the cancer is located only in the breast, the 5-year relative survival rate of people with breast cancer is 99%
• Sixty-one percent (61%) of cases are diagnosed at this stage
If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 85%
• If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 26%
If you’ve had breast cancer, there’s a 75% chance that your doctor prescribed you the chemotherapy drug Taxotere.
If you’ve taken Taxotere, there’s a 6.3% chance that you’ve suffered permanent hair loss

As lawsuit after lawsuit has claimed, the maker of Taxotere knew that the drug could cause permanent hair loss, but the company withheld this crucial health information from patients and doctors.   
 
Taxotere is a brand of docetaxel, a chemotherapy drug that has been used for decades in the treatment of breast, prostate, and other cancers. But not all forms of docetaxel are created equal.   
 
Major pharmaceutical companies (aka “Big Pharma”) have deep pockets, which means they spend a lot of money on marketing their proprietary drugs. Sanofi-Aventis, the French pharmaceutical giant that developed Taxotere, has aggressively promoted it as safer and more effective than other chemotherapy drugs.   
 
But there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests Sanofi-Aventis was lying to patients and doctors about Taxotere’s negative side effects.   
 
In fact, Sanofi-Aventis warned patients and doctors in other countries of the fact that Taxotere could cause permanent hair loss. But they withheld that information from breast cancer victims and their doctors in America.   
 
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that, in 1994, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially rejected Taxotere for being too toxic. Sanofi-Aventis used all of its influence to ram the drug through the FDA approval process just two years later.   
 
The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com believe that the manufacturer of Taxotere deliberately withheld vital medical information from patients and doctors – all in the name of profit.   
 
We believe that Sanofi-Aventis had full knowledge that Taxotere could cause permanent hair loss, and that the company failed to adequately warn patients or doctors of this painful side effect. We believe that, in most cases, an alternative chemotherapy drug could have been used in place of Taxotere, and that those replacement drugs were safer and would have caused no such side effect.   
 
If you’re a victim of Taxotere’s side effects, and you want to speak to a qualified attorney, contact TheLawFirm.com. We specialize in Taxotere cases.   
 
Contact us today for a 100% no-cost, risk-free evaluation.

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Taxotere Litigation

Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Sanofi-Aventis, most of them on the grounds that the drug manufacturer failed to warn patients and doctors that Taxotere could cause permanent hair loss.   
 
At the moment, all eyes are on Louisiana for the latest developments in Taxotere litigation. More than 90 cases are currently under consideration by a Louisiana judge in what is known as a multi-district litigation, or MDL. We are experts in such cases, and will continue to study the developments in Louisiana and elsewhere.   
 
Health organizations in other countries have stopped prescribing Taxotere because of its serious side effects.   
 
One of the world’s leading cancer-treatment centers, the Institut Curie in Paris, recently discontinued using Taxotere to treat breast cancer. The reason: five fatal cases involving patients who had been taking the drug.   
 
Despite such warning signs, Taxotere is still prescribed in the U.S. and Canada. If your health has been compromised by Taxotere, don’t hesitate to contact the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com. 

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How are Taxotere lawsuits filed?

Most lawsuits concerning Taxotere are filed as part of a mass tort, a particular type of lawsuit that is related to but distinct from a class action lawsuit.

Class action suits are filed by multiple plaintiffs acting as one party. A plaintiff group can number hundreds or thousands of people. If the plaintiffs win their case, each individual plaintiff receives an equal share of any damages that are awarded. In a class action case with a plaintiff group of 50,000 and an award of $5 million, each plaintiff receives $1000, less legal expenses.

A mass tort – the category of legal action under which most Taxotere lawsuits are likely to fall – differs significantly from a class action suit. In a mass tort, courts hear a small number of representative cases, which they then use as a basis for settlements in a larger number of nearly identical cases.

Settlements and damages in mass tort cases are not distributed equally, but are determined individually, according to the details of each particular case.

Filing a Taxotere lawsuit

American law holds that companies that manufacture and/or market a defective drug can be held liable for the damages done by those drugs, and may be subject to punitive finds if courts find that those damages were caused by neglect, especially willful neglect.

If you or a loved one has suffered physical and/or psychological problems related to Taxotere, you may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience in the areas of personal injury law and product liability law. After studying your particular case, your attorney will advise you of your legal options.

A lawyer with knowledge and experience in the areas of personal injury and product liability will be able to file your lawsuit and, if necessary, represent your interests in a court of law.

Most people who file personal injury and/or product liability lawsuits do not so in order to make a profit, but to settle an injustice.

No matter the amount of the damages that you may be awarded in a trial, they cannot make up for the pain and suffering caused by the permanent hair loss that has been associated with Taxotere. Many people who file lawsuits, however, feel that a favorable outcome can rebalance the scales of justice such that the party that caused the injury is made to compensate the party who suffered from the injury.

A good attorney can help you negotiate these complex questions, and can help you decide if filing a lawsuit is the right decision for you.

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How do I know if I’m qualified to join a Taxotere mass tort lawsuit?

The first step in determining if you should participate in a Taxotere lawsuit is to consult an attorney who has expertise in the areas of product liability law and personal injury law.

Taxotere does not always cause permanent hair loss. If you take or have taken Taxotere, and you are concerned that it may be causing or will soon cause physical and/or psychological problems for you, consult your physician.

If you are taking or have taken Taxotere, and you believe it is responsible for the permanent hair loss that you have suffered, you may be entitled to join an existing Taxotere lawsuit. Typically, if you meet one or more of the following criteria, you are likely to qualify to join an existing lawsuit:

• You have been prescribed Taxotere as a chemotherapy drug, and have taken Taxotere as recommended by your physician, and

• The hair that you lost during chemotherapy has not grown back, even several weeks or months after the conclusion of the course of your chemotherapy treatment, and

• The permanent hair loss has caused anxiety, social stigma, psychological trauma, and/or any decline in your overall quality of life.

Certain exceptions do apply. Your attorney will be able to explain these to you.

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Taxotere lawsuit FAQ's

Is this a Class Action?
No. A class action is where one or two people represent everyone and make the decisions for you. In the Taxotere® case, each case is individual and you, with your attorney, make the decisions about the important events in your case like whether to enroll in a settlement program when it becomes available. In the legal world, this is called a "mass tort".

Do you sue my doctor?
No. We do not sue or make any claims against your doctors. We believe that the doctors are the victims of the greedy pharmaceutical corporations as well. In fact, we expect your doctor to be as outraged as we are.

Will I have to go to Court?
Probably not. With thousands of similar cases filed before yours, it is very unlikely that you will ever have to go to Court. While there are no guarantees, 99% of cases like this resolve in a settlement program.

Can I just wait to bring a claim?
Unfortunately it’s very dangerous to wait because the law places strict time limits on your ability to make a claim. The time limits vary from state to state so if you aren’t sure if you still have time to make a claim, give us a call and we’ll let you know.

Who makes Taxotere®?
Taxotere® is made by French pharmaceutical giant Sonofi whose worldwide home office is in Paris France, but they have enormous operations here in the United States. The 5th largest healthcare company in the world, their income in 2015 was 37 billion euros. (roughly 40+ billion U.S. Dollars).

Who is eligible for possible compensation?
There are four criteria: • You must be a woman who survived Stage I, II or III breast cancer;
• You must have been treated with Taxotere® through IV (no oral chemotherapy);
• You must have taken the drug before December 2015; and
• You must now suffer from permanent hair loss.
TheLawFirm.com can help determine whether you are eligible for a lawsuit. Please call for a free consultation.

Why does hair loss matter?
This matters because hair loss can be devastating to women. Hair loss is associated with lower self-esteem, decreased self-confidence, depression and other emotional and psychological consequences.

It matters because a corporation took a product to market that was no more effective than its competitor and refused to warn American women about this possible loss. They made money off the suffering of cancer victims.

Men might not care as much but women report feeling self-conscious, unattractive and socially crippled when they are permanently bald. What was expected to be a temporary side effect turned out to be a permanent disfigurement so the corporation could profit.

The matter boils down simply to this: the decision on what drug to take should be made with full information and disclosure. To hide the fact that a permanent side effect is possible, when an equally effective alternative is available, is inexcusable.

Isn’t hair loss part of any chemotherapy regimen?
It’s true that women who undergo cancer treatment expect that their hair might fall out. However, women are mostly told that it will grow back a few months after treatment ends. In the case of Taxotere®- which studies show is more likely than similar, and equally effective, chemotherapy drugs to result in permanent hair loss - women were never given the choice of another drug because they were not warned about this possible side effect.

Why do you believe the manufacturer is responsible for my hair loss?
Quite simply, there was another drug that was just as effective as Taxotere® in treating cancer. However, the manufacturer promoted Taxotere® as superior until the FDA in 2009 demanded that they stop claiming an “unsubstantiated superiority” of Taxotere®. There was no warning of the possibility of permanent hair loss in the United States until December 2015. However, in Europe and Canada, the company did warn women. We believe the evidence will show that the company was more concerned about market share than safeguarding women’s health.

How long will my case take?
We expect the manufacturer to fight us tooth and nail. These cases can take several years.

How much will this cost me?
TheLawFirm.com never charges you anything up front. We only get paid if we win your case. We also advance many ‘costs’. If your case settles, or you are awarded damages by a jury, we are re-paid those costs out of the settlement or award. Typical case costs could be filing fees, the cost of obtaining medical records and expert witnesses, for example. Feel free to talk to us about how we are paid and what costs are.

Bottom line: we will never ask you to send us money. Ever.

What can I recover in a lawsuit?
While money will not make you whole again, you may be eligible for compensation for:
• Mental anguish/ Emotional Distress;
• Loss of earnings and lost earning potential; and
• Medical bills, or psychological counseling.
• The amount of damages recoverable through a lawsuit depends on an individual harm suffered and other unique circumstances. It is impossible for us to give a precise number as to how much money you may be awarded.

Do you guys know what you are doing?
People don't usually ask us so bluntly but it's important to know you are well represented. So yes. Our team has been handling defective medical product cases since fen/phen in the 1990s, and since then we’ve been involved in many of the major medical recall claims including Baycol, Rezulin, Prempro, Vioxx, and Medtronic defibrillators, pelvic mesh cases, and all types of metal-on-metal hip implants. Many members of our team have represented victims of defective medical products or bad drugs for almost 20 years.

Taxotere Update - November 29th, 2016.
The Court in New Orleans continues to issue Orders in the Taxotere MDL. The next status conference will take place on January 27, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Issues such as service on the Defendant, the form of pleadings, motion practice and the potential for a tolling agreement are being discussed. TheLawFirm.com continues to monitor the Orders of the Court.

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taxotere package

Has Taxotere been recalled in Canada?

No, Taxotere has not been recalled in Canada. It remains on Health Canada’s list of drugs that are generally considered safe.

However, Taxotere has been under scrutiny by the national health agencies of several countries for more than a decade. Here’s a brief regulatory timeline of Taxotere:

1995: Health Canada approves Taxotere for the treatment of local and metastatic breast cancers

1996: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Taxotere

2005: The Canadian Health Protection Branch approves Taxotere for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer in men

2006: Dr. Scot Sedlacek, at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Colorado finds that 6.3% of breast cancer patients grew back less than 50% of their hair after treatment with Taxotere

2010: The Globe and Mail reports that three Canadian women have lodged complaints with Health Canada, alleging that Taxotere caused their alopecia (permanent hair loss)

2010: The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology warns about an increase in Taxotere-related alopecia cases

2012: Sanofi-Aventis, the maker of Taxotere, informs Health Canada that Taxotere has been linked with permanent hair loss

2013: The National Cancer Research Institute in London finds that permanent hair loss is a side effect of 10-15% of patients who have taken Taxotere

2013: The British Columbia Cancer Agency Cancer Drug Manual publishes information about the link between docetaxel and permanent hair loss

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