Initial Discovery Plan Issued for National Testosterone Lawsuits
Thousands of men across the country have filed lawsuits in the wake of an FDA warning announced earlier in 2014 with regards to the questionable safety of testosterone therapy medications. The manufacturers of AndroGel, Axiron, Striant and several other drugs are currently being investigated for possible health risks that have not been properly advertised to the public.
The first several testosterone drug lawsuits were filed in Chicago in January of 2014. For this reason, in June of 2014 the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to centralize all federal cases before U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in the Eastern District of Illinois for the coordinated management of pre-trial proceedings.
Judge Kennelly issued a case management order on August 25th, outlining the preliminary discovery plan and procedures for the multidistrict litigation (MDL). The defendants (the drug manufacturers) in each case have been given 45 days to provide initial disclosures and lists of people most knowledgeable about the marketing and development of their products, information about documentation for their case, and names of their custodians.
On September 1st, Judge Kennelly issued a protective order outlining how information and documentation is to be handled confidentially by all parties involved. This includes personal information on specific plaintiffs and certain internal documents that have been received from the drug manufacturers.
Note: Plaintiffs should be aware that the MDL does not turn this into a class action lawsuit. Every individual testosterone drug case, regardless of the manufacturer, will eventually be transferred back to its original court after the initial discovery process. The MDL is only intended to consolidate the preliminary steps to reduce duplicative discovery of common issues and to avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges. The testosterone MDL should also provide added convenience, minimize expense, and expedite final verdicts for all parties involved in these cases
Dangers of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising for Testosterone Drugs
One of the main arguments in these lawsuits is the fact that testosterone therapy drugs have been aggressively marketed to the public over the past several years. In 2012, an estimated 5.3 million prescriptions were written for testosterone boosting medications, generating nearly $2 billion in sales.
Television and print advertisements have encouraged men to talk to their doctor if they have experienced symptoms such as weight gain, low libido, or energy loss. Typically, these ads portray men over the age of 50 who “suffer” from these symptoms, but are able to experience youthful rejuvenation after taking the medication.
What these ads do not make clear, are the very serious health risks associated with taking these drugs. For men whose clinical blood test does NOT reveal an exceptionally low level of testosterone (a condition diagnosed as hypogonadism), taking these drugs definitely has the potential to do more harm than good.
To Be Continued…
As of September 1, 2014, there are only about 200 cases currently consolidated before Judge Kennelly in the MDL, but it is expected that several thousand lawsuits will eventually be included over the coming months and years as Testosterone Drug Lawyers continue to review and file additional complaints. These drugs are causing a startling number of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes, and men who have taken these medications without fair warning are suffering.
If you or a loved one have experienced adverse effects while taking AndroGel or any other testosterone therapy product, you may be eligible for compensation. For questions about testosterone drugs or other product liability cases, contact the personal injury attorneys at Lieser Law Firm for a FREE legal consultation.