$3.2 Million was awarded to a man who suffered a heart attack after using AndroGel for years. An Illinois jury ordered AbbVie Inc. to compensate Jesse Mitchell, finding the testosterone replacement therapy drug caused his heart attack on March 26, 2018. The litigation is consolidated in MDL 2545 In re Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation before Judge Matthew F. Kennelly. The verdict consisted of $3 million in punitive damages and $200,000 in compensatory damages. Thousands of cases are in settlement for claimants who allege certain testosterone replacement drugs have caused injuries including:
- Stroke – Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) or Transient ischemic Attack (TIA)MI (Myocardial Infarction)
- Heart Attack – Myocardial Infarction (MI)
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Blood Clots
The plaintiffs allege that some manufacturers falsely marketed the Low-T drugs as safe for the treatment of age-related hypogonadism, a condition of low testosterone levels in the blood caused by the normal male aging process. However, some medical experts opine that it is common for testosterone levels to begin to decrease for all men as they age, and it is natural and not necessary for medical treatment. Manufacturers and drugs include:
AndroGel: A spray gel applied to the shoulder or upper arms. On the market in 2000, aggressively marketed by AbbVie in direct-to-consumer advertisements for Low T therapy.
• Depo-Testosterone: A testosterone injection. On the market in 2006 by Pfizer.
• AndroDerm: A testosterone patch worn on the skin. On the market in 1995 by Actavis,.
• Bio-T Gel: A once-daily testosterone treatment gel that was approved in February 2012, but is not widely used.
Defendants named in the complaints include:
- AbbVie Inc.
- Abbott Laboratories
- AbbVie Products LLC
- Unimed Pharmaceuticals, LLC
- Besins Healthcare Inc.
- Besins Healthcare, S.A.
- Acrux Commercial Pty Ltd.
- Acrux DDS Pty Ltd.
- Pfizer, Inc.
- Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc.
- Actavis, Inc.
- Actavis Pharma, Inc.
- Actavis Laboratories UT, Inc.
- Anda, Inc.
AbbVie was found not liable in January 2018 in a lawsuit by an Arizona man who claimed he suffered a pulmonary embolism as a result of using AndroGel.
In October 2017, a jury found AbbVie liable and ordered the company to pay more than $140 million to a Tennessee man who claimed the drug caused him to suffer a heart attack.
Settlements by Eli Lilly, Endo and GSK
Pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly and Co, Endo International and GlaxoSmithKline agreed to settle hundreds of lawsuits under confidential terms in December 2017. Endo Pharmaceuticals and its Auxilium unit proposed settlement for over 1300 testosterone cases. They’re joined as defendants in some cases by their former marketing partner GlaxoSmithKline. Endo agreed to settle close to 550 testosterone cases. The court stayed all proceedings involving the drugmakers pending settlement.