If you received Taxotere as part of your chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer and suffered permanent hair loss, you could be eligible for compensation. A lawsuit with help from the New York City Taxotere lawsuit attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo, PC could result in payment for your emotional distress and other damages. Call (212) 732-9000 today for a free consultation in New York.
Taxotere is the brand name for the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. It works to prevent groups of cancerous cells from reproducing. Patients are injected with doses of Taxotere through a vein. Although it is a form of chemotherapy medication that is used to treat other types of cancers, it is especially common in treating breast cancer. The majority of breast cancer patients receive treatments containing Taxotere at some point throughout their recovery.
Breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments have already suffered enough emotional distress. Losing one’s hair is a normal treatment outcome for which patients can prepare. When the hair loss becomes unexpectedly permanent, however, patients can suffer significant emotional distress, psychological trauma, and lost quality of life. Permanent hair loss, or alopecia, is a traumatic experience that can cause low self-esteem, poor self-confidence, depression, and body image problems.
Investigations have shown that the manufacturer of Taxotere, Sanofi, knew that alopecia could result as a side effect in some patients. A 2013 U.K. study concluded that up to 15 percent of women experience permanent hair loss after being treated with Taxotere. Based on this conclusion, alopecia would not be considered a rare side effect, but more common.
Sanofi, however, failed to warn consumers of this potential side effect. A strange and troubling fact is that only in the U.S., was alopecia not disclosed to be a possible side effect. Other countries in which Taxotere was sold, were aware of the potential health risk. The European medical community received this information from Sanofi regarding the risk of alopecia as early as 2005. In 2012, Taxotere sold in Canada contained a warning label, listing alopecia as a potential side effect. In contrast, the U.S. did not become aware of this fact until 2015.
Furthermore, evidence shows Sanofi used illegal methods to give kickbacks to doctors who prescribed Taxotere over its competitors. Sanofi is now facing lawsuits from patients with alopecia seeking compensation for their losses.
In 2017, thousands of Taxotere cases were granted mass tort status and consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) before U.S. District Judge Jane T. Milazzo of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a federal court procedure used to better manage similar complex cases that involve hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs from various districts. The cases are combined and then transferred to a single district court. The pretrial and discovery proceedings are then completed under one judge, who manages the litigation process. If a case is not dismissed or does not settle during MDL, then it is sent back to the original court to begin trial.
There are currently 11,396 civil actions pending, of which the first nine “bellwether” cases are planned to go before a jury in September 2019, unless Sanofi reaches a global settlement before then. Bellwether trials are often used in MDL and consists of a small consolidation of lawsuits, taken from the larger group of similar cases, that will be tried first. The bellwether trial is like a practice run to help anticipate the results of future corresponding cases.
Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo, PC has extensive experience handling defective drug claims throughout New York. We can review your rights, help you document your Taxotere-related alopecia, and take your case to court if necessary for fair compensation. Start with a free consultation at our local law office. Request yours online or by calling (212) 732-9000.