Breast cancer survivors deal with many lingering psychological side effects from the impact cancer had on their overall quality of life as well as the physical effect chemotherapy had on their body. Taxotere is a very common chemotherapy drug for breast cancer in the U.S., and its manufacturing company, Sanofi-Aventis, is facing lawsuits that allege the company purposely withheld information that the drug could cause permanent hair loss (alopecia) to turn a profit.
Women who took Taxotere are now struggling with disfiguring alopecia and are filing dangerous drugs lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis, which they claim has robbed American women from making an informed decision regarding their chemotherapy treatment.
If you or a loved one took Taxotere and have suffered permanent hair loss, please contact our attorneys in Orlando today at (407) 712-7300 for a FREE consultation. Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have decades of experience with defective medical products and dangerous drugs claims and serve clients nationwide.
What is Taxotere?
Taxotere (generic form, Docetaxel) is a popularly prescribed chemotherapy drug because treatments are done every three weeks versus other chemotherapy drugs such as Pacilitaxel that must be administered weekly. Women and physicians favor Taxotere because of the convenience of fewer visits to the hospital. Taxotere and Pacilitaxel are equally effective, but Taxotere has the added risk of permanent hair loss.
Hair loss is typical with chemotherapy, but hair growth resumes shortly after treatments have finished. Women and physicians were misled by the enticing benefit of fewer chemotherapy treatments when a less expensive drug (Pacilitaxel) with fewer risks was available and would have been just as successful.
Taxotere Research and Alopecia
Sanofi-Aventis knew of the alopecia risk in 2005 after a study from the late 1990s concluded that 9.2 percent of women experienced permanent alopecia following Taxotere treatment. The manufacturing company went as far as warning patients in other countries in Europe and later on, Canada. The risk of alopecia was not listed or published in any information regarding the drug in the United States.
It wasn’t until 2015, when the FDA updated Taxotere safety information, that Sanofi-Aventis began to warn patients and doctors of the alopecia risk. For more than a decade, the manufacturer allegedly hid research that showed patients suffered permanent hair loss for a decade or longer after treatment.
Breast cancer often takes away a woman’s self-confidence as chemotherapy causes severe weight loss and temporary hair loss. Women who took Taxotere are left with a lasting reminder of their battle with cancer, and many have to continue wearing wigs or headbands. Hair loss is listed as one of the top emotionally-distressing side effects of cancer treatment.
Studies also linked alopecia to:
- Significantly lowered quality of life
- Poor social functioning
- Lowered body image
- Decreased sexuality
- Emotional distress
- Reduced ability to go back to work
Alopecia isn’t limited to hair growth in the scalp. Permanent hair loss can occur anywhere hair grows on the body such as underarms, pubic hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. The Annals of Oncology published a 2012 study which followed 20 breast cancer patients who took Taxotere. All 20 of the women suffered permanent alopecia or sparse patches of hair re-growth, even with alopecia treatments.
Many women would not have taken Taxotere had they known of the risk for permanent disfigurement from alopecia. Dangerous drugs lawsuits regarding Taxotere claim Sanofi-Aventis failed to notify and warn patients of the risk of alopecia and hid research linking the two. These cases also assert the manufacturer conspired to keep the alopecia problem hidden in order to increase sales. Sanofi-Aventis was making $1.4 billion every year by 2004.
The dangerous drugs lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis for Taxotere claim the company:
- Sold the drug without properly testing it.
- Sold the drug without disclosing the dangers associated with it.
- Failed to ascertain the safety of Taxotere before distribution.
- Misled the general population through advertising and marketing efforts.
- Manufactured a dangerous drug.
- Hid information from the public.
- Downplayed the dangers of Taxotere.
Schedule your Consultation with a Dangerous Drugs Lawyer
Our lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter in Orlando specialize in dangerous drugs lawsuits and are well-known for our tenacity in fighting for our clients. We’re recognized for how hard our attorneys will fight to get the full amount of compensation for our client’s physical, emotional and financial injuries. We’ve reached many successful verdicts and settlements. We aren’t afraid to take your case all the way to trial and make sure you have direct communication with your lawyer at any time.
If you or a loved one has suffered alopecia after taking Taxotere, please contact our attorneys in Orlando about your dangerous drugs claim today at (407) 712-7300 for a FREE consultation. Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter serve clients in Orlando, Florida and nationwide.