A lawsuit filed in California alleges that the makers of a popular chemotherapy drug misrepresented the drug’s benefits and hid side effects, including permanent hair loss.
Breast cancer survivor Ami Dodson filed a lawsuit against the makers of Taxotere (docetaxel) claiming the drug caused her to suffer permanent hair loss (alopecia). She also claims the drug maker engaged in marketing schemes to drive up the sales of the drug while hiding medication’s increased toxicity level compared to other similar drugs.
“Defendants [preyed] on one of the most vulnerable group of individuals at the most difficult time in their lives,” Ami Dodson said her lawsuit. “Defendants obtained billions of dollars in increased revenues at the expense of unwary cancer victims simply hoping to survive their condition and return to a normal life.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Taxotere in 1996 and by 2004, it raked in $1.4 billion each year for Sanofi. The drug is approved for use in treating a variety of cancers. In 2004, the FDA approved the drug despite significant toxicity that could cause leukemia and congestive heart failure, according to the National Cancer Institute.
About 75 percent of all women who suffer from breast cancer in the United States are prescribed Taxotere.
Dodson claims she would not have used Taxotere if she had known it could cause permanent hair loss, especially since other less toxic options were available.
“Permanent baldness (permanent alopecia) is a disfiguring condition, especially for women,” said Dodson. “Women who experienced disfiguring permanent alopecia as a result of the use of Taxotere suffer great mental anguish as well as economic damages, including but not limited to loss of work or inability to work due to significant psychological damage.”
The lawsuits is ongoing.
Our office is currently investigating potential Taxotere lawsuits from across the country. If you or a loved suffered from permanent hair loss after taking Taxotere, contact our office immediately.