Propecia is a synthetic antiandrogen, which prevents enzymes from converting testosterone into DHT, a male sex hormone or androgen. High levels of DHT are suspected of being the cause of enlarging prostates in addition to prostate cancer. Is it also believed that DHT causes the shrinking of hair follicles, which can lead to male pattern baldness (MPB).
Back in 1992, the FDA approved Propecia and Proscar to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlargement of the prostate. In 1997, it was approved for the treatment of male pattern baldness.
The Dangers of Propecia
Over the years, men have reported sexual side effects, including impotence. Even so, Merck, the maker of Propecia, has only warned consumers about the side effects of loss of desire, difficulty getting an erection, and decreased amount of semen. They also said each of these side effects occur in less than 2% of men and stopped when they discontinued using Propecia.
Marketing and FDA Warnings for Propecia
Lawsuits are being filed against Merck, the maker of Propecia. Propecia has been prescribed to over 1 million men since it first came out in the 1980s as a treatment for enlarged prostate. In the middle 1990s, Merck began to market the drug as a treatment for male pattern baldness. It was approved for that use by the FDA in 1997.
Even today, Merck is still marketing Propecia based on effectiveness claims that 9 out of 10 men maintain or improve their hair. Unfortunately, Propecia has not been honest about the potentially dangerous side effects.
The FDA announced new label requirements for Propecia in 2011. This was caused by the findings that Propecia may cause an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Another label change was announced in 2012 requiring that labels on Propecia were to include warnings about disorders of libido, ejaculation, and orgasm even after discontinuing the drug.
Propecia Injury Lawsuit Status
By the time the FDA got Merck to cooperate, several lawsuits had already been brought across the country claiming injuries caused by the use of Propecia. Hundreds of lawsuits are pending. In 2012, a federal judicial panel sent the Propecia lawsuits from federal courts to the U.S. District Court in the eastern district of New York. All of those cases claimed that Propecia caused “persistent sexual dysfunction.”
The federal panel sent the cases to Judge John Gleeson for faster processing because they expect many more lawsuits will be filed against Merck. These cases are known collectively as multidistrict litigation (MDL) #2331. By January of 2013, there were 139 cases.
Over 200 lawsuits have been filed in New Jersey State Courts where Merck has its headquarters. The New Jersey Supreme Court has also utilized central management of Propecia lawsuits. In March of 2012, Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Jessica Mayer was assigned to the cases. As of February 2013, her caseload had grown to more than 250 pending Propecia lawsuits. New lawsuits are being filed constantly in these courts and others across the country.
The continuous filing of lawsuits against Merck is a testament to the dangers of Propecia.
If you are a man who has suffered sexual problems due to the use of Propecia, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
CONTACT The Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.