Taxotere Lawsuit News: Sanofi Ordered To Turn Over Hundreds Of Docs In Taxotere Case
In a blow to drug-maker Sanofi in litigation over its cancer drug Taxotere, on May 22, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ordered the company to hand over hundreds of documents related to False Claims Act (FCA) litigation over Sanofi’s alleged marketing of Taxotere for off-label uses. Sanofi had sought to conceal the documents under the guise of attorney-client privilege, but the court found, based largely on whistleblower testimony, that the privilege did not apply.
Former-employee-turned-whistleblower Yoash Gohil, who has been pursuing the case in various forms since 2002, alleges that Sanofi—under its old name Aventis Pharmaceuticals—paid kickbacks to doctors who engaged with the company in a scheme to prescribe Sanofi to patients for uses that had not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When the company then sought reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid for these drugs, Gohil argues, it was in violation of the FCA.
Sanofi now will be forced to reveal a trove of documents related to one of its Taxotere marketing programs, including information related to reimbursements and any efforts to destroy or otherwise conceal damaging evidence.
Whistleblower Gohil had asserted to the court that Sanofi was using the guise of attorney-client privilege to withhold relevant information, arguing that many of the documents were email correspondence that had merely been forwarded to an attorney, hardly grounds for asserting the privilege.
The documents unearthed by the new court orders may impact not only the instant case but also consolidated suits presently making their way through the Louisiana court system. Stay tuned to the TheLawFirm.com for the latest Taxotere litigation information.
Taxotere Lawsuit News
There are now over 1000 lawsuits filed in the Taxotere MDL. About half of these cases involve generic and quasi-generic manufacturers. The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com have written before about the challenges that generic drugs can pose. We have now learned that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) has allowed claims involving generic docetaxel to be included in the Taxotere MDL.
Judge Sarah S. Vance, Chair of the JPMDL, stated in a letter that the consolidated litigation does include lawsuits against both name-brand and generic forms of the drug. Taxotere, manufactured by Sanofi, lost its patent protection in late 2010. The plaintiffs charge that they experienced permanent hair loss following treatment with Taxotere. While Taxotere was first approved to treat breast cancer in 1996, it wasn’t until December 2015 that mention of permanent alopecia (hair loss) was included on the drug’s U.S. label.
While hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, the plaintiffs allege that Taxotere is more likely to result in the permanent loss of hair compared to other equally effective drugs. They also claim that Sanofi-Aventis has long provided information about the potential for permanent alopecia to cancer patients in Canada and Europe. However, Taxotere’s U.S. label only included a warning that “hair generally grows back.” The plaintiffs allege that this warning is vague and insufficient.
The Taxotere lawyers at TheLawFirm.com are hopeful that the defense will focus less on preparing for trial and more on resolving the cases. If you took Taxotere and suffered permanent hair loss as a result, contact us for a free consultation.
Science Day For Taxotere Lawsuit
The Taxotere attorneys at TheLawFirm.com have learned that US District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt has ordered a ‘science day’ in the Taxotere litigation.
This litigation involves the allegations that Taxotere caused permanent hair loss among cancer patients. A science day is where a trial judge is taught the scientific issues, methodologies and vocabularies of the scientific issues in the litigation before them.
Taxotere was first approved to treat breast cancer in 1996 but it wasn’t until December 2015 that mention of permanent alopecia (hair loss) was included on the drug’s U.S. label. The manufacturer had been warning women in Europe and Canada of this risk before 2015. The plaintiffs in the Taxotere lawsuits claim that Taxotere is more likely to result in the permanent loss of hair compared to other chemotherapy drugs.
Judge Engelhardt has appointed plaintiff and defense settlement committees and called on the parties to focus less on preparing for trial and more on resolving the cases. The Taxotere attorneys at TheLawFirm.com hope the manufacturer of Taxotere compensates the thousands of women who suffered permanent baldness. If you took Taxotere, and now suffer from permanent baldness, contact the Taxotere attorneys at TheLawFirm.com for a free consultation.
750 Consolidated Lawsuits Against Taxotere
Lawsuits filed on behalf of women who allege they experienced permanent hair loss (alopecia) due to Taxotere chemotherapy continue to move forward. Over 750 of these cases are now consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The Judge responsible, Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt, has issued two more Pretrial Orders. In December, 2016, when there were far less cases filed in the MDL, Judge Engelhardt appointed plaintiff and defense settlement committees. This appointment suggests that the Court would prepare the parties to focus less on preparing for trial and more on resolving the cases.
The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com assert that these cases should resolve because we believe that Taxotere is more likely to result in the permanent loss of hair compared to other equally effective drugs. What makes it worse is that Sanofi-Aventis provided information regarding the potential for permanent hair loss to individual patients and regulatory agencies in Europe and Canada. Yet the U.S. label for Taxotere only included a generic, vague, and insufficient warning that “hair generally grows back”.
750 Consolidated Lawsuits Against Taxotere
The world continues to take notice of the dangers of Taxotere (a version of docetaxel), with the Institut Curie discontinuing use of the controversial drug last week. The Institut Curie, headquartered in Paris, is one the world’s leading media research centers specializing on the treatment of cancer.
The Feb. 16 press release said five fatal cases had of patients treated with Taxotere had been reported to the ANSM, France’s FDA equivalent, since August 2016, with the coming on Feb. 4.
"As a precaution, given the occurrence within an unusually short period of time, of these two similar cases at the Institut Curie and those at other healthcare facilities in France, the Institut Curie has stopped using docetaxel to treat breast cancer. It has been replaced with paclitaxel," reads the press release.
This is the just the latest blow for Taxotere defenders who have been faced with an avalanche of lawsuits in court regarding permanent hair loss from cancer patients who were given the chemotherapy drug during treatment but were not properly warned of its dangers. Hardly a new drug, Taxotere just “celebrated” 20 years of being on the U.S. market.
Taxotere is manufactured and advertised by Sanofi-Aventis as a breast cancer treatment drug and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in May 1996. Sanofi-Aventis has marketed Taxotere as a safe, effective, and superior drug treatment when compared to other chemotherapy drugs. However, prior to its approval, Taxotere had actually been recommended for rejection by the FDA in 1994 due to its toxicity.
Lawsuits claim that Sanofi-Aventis has been aware of reports and studies linking Taxotere to permanent hair loss after chemotherapy since as far back as its approval in 1996.
TheLawFirm.com is now accepting cases for women who suffered permanent hair loss as a result of taking the breast cancer chemotherapy drug Taxotere. It is estimated that 75% of breast cancer patients were given Taxotere®. Unfortunately, 6.3% of Patients given Taxotere experienced permanent hair loss. In December 2015, the FDA issued a Taxotere label change warning of potential permanent hair loss.
TheLawFirm.com asserts that, despite having knowledge of the risk of permanent baldness, Taxotere manufacturer failed to adequately warn women or the medical community of this permanent side-effect. We believe that there were other, equally effective, drugs available to fight cancer that did not carry this result.
In fact, in 2009, the FDA demanded that Sanofi-Aventis (the manufacturer) stop marketing Taxotere as having better results than the competitor's’ drug - the same drug the Institut Curie switched to in mid-February.
However, Taxotere lawsuits allege that, despite knowledge of their drug’s connection with permanent chemotherapy hair loss, Sanofi chose to conceal this information from patients and the medical community.
Lawsuits allege that because Sanofi-Aventis marketed Taxotere as similarly safe and effective to other chemotherapy drugs, despite the increased risk of alopecia, thousands of patients have been exposed to Taxotere side effects, including permanent Taxotere hair loss risk.
Have you been the victim of side effect from Taxotere and want to speak to a qualified attorney about relief? TheLawFirm.com has specialized attorneys working specifically with clients on these claims who will give you a 100% no-cost, risk-free evaluation. Contact us today to learn more.