For cancer patients, tempory hair loss is nothing new, neither is the vomiting and nausea, weakness, diarrhea, body aches and pains and a myriad of other side effects, all that can stem from chemotherapy. One of the first visible signs indicating that someone might be going through cancer treatment is the hair loss that is so often reported, however, hair usually returns or regenerates after the treatments have ended. But for many women who were diagnosed with breast cancer, prescribed and took the chemotherapy drug Taxotere (generic name Docetaxel), the permanent loss of their hair became an everyday reminder of their cancer and the treatment they had received. As a result, there have been a number of lawsuits filed against the manufacturer of Taxotere, Sanofi-Aventis Inc.
Breast cancer survivors and their families are currently suing Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, claiming the company failed to warn them of the permanent hair loss risk associated with Taxotere. More than 1,600 lawsuits in the Eastern District of Louisiana accuse Sanofi of hiding research linking the chemotherapy drug to toxic side effects. Litigation is ongoing, and no settlements have been announced. The first four cases are set to go to trial in 2019. If you or a loved one have suffered permanent hair loss (alopecia areata) after undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, Taxotere or other products containing docetaxel may the cause. Below you will find more information about the drug Taxotere, persistent hair loss and your legal options.
In the year 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Taxotere, the brand name of Sanofi-Aventis Inc.’s chemotherapy drug that contains docetaxel, since then Taxotere has been used to treat breast cancer and certain other forms of cancer. Taxotere is administered intravenously and is meant to slow or even stop the division of fast-growing cancer cells in a targeted fashion. Taxotere is administered every three weeks which makes it appealing to patients as other chemotherapy drugs in the same class as Taxotere are administered on a weekly basis.
Even though hair loss is listed as a possible side-effect of Taxotere, Sanofi’s literature that accompanies the drug originally claimed “hair generally grows back” after treatments are completed. Despite this claim made by the manufacturer, many women have reported that they were unable to regrow hair after being prescribed and receiving Taxotere treatments. Even years following the treatments, women are claiming that they are still unable to grow hair and Sanofi was reported as being reluctant to release data or investigate the claims made by women. In December 2015, the FDA updated the warning label for Taxotere to include the side effect “permanent hair loss.” Taxotere’s packaging now states “in some cases (frequency not known) permanent hair loss has been observed.”
In some studies conducted prior to the FDA’s labeling update, there is evidence to support the claims of Taxotere’s marked increase in permanent hair loss. This evidence includes a study published by the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (2014) in the United Kingdom. The Clatterbridge study concluded that 10 to 15 percent of patients using Taxotere (and other products containing docetaxel) suffered long-term scalp alopecia (baldness) as much as 3.5 years after the completion of treatment. Similar findings were reported and published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010 showing that 9.2 percent of women patients suffering permanent hair loss 10 years after the completion of Taxotere treatment.
Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuits
Sanofi was first sued by Hattie Carson for failing to warn physicians or patients about the true risks of permanent or long-term alopecia. Other claims against Sanofi and Taxotere include negligence, design and manufacturing defects, breach of express and implied warranty as well as fraudulent misrepresentation. Filed on 01-22-2016, Carson’s complaint claims that Sanofi mislead the public about the risks involved with its drug Taxotere and the risk of permanent alopecia, describing it as a “disfiguring condition, especially for women,” and that the company should have known that these risks were “far greater than with other products available to treat the same condition.”
Carson’s complaint is seeking damages for all of the following injuries:
- Past and Future Medical Expenses
- Psychological Counseling and Therapy Expenses
- Mental Anguish
- Severe and Debilitating Emotional Distress
- Past and Future Loss of Earnings
- Past and Future Loss of Earning Capacity
- Permanent Disfigurement including Permanent Alopecia
- Increased Risk of Future Harm
- Past, Present, and Future Physical and Mental Pain, Suffering, and Discomfort
- Past, Present, and Future Loss and Impairment of the Quality and Enjoyment of Life
Experiencing Hair Loss Due to Taxotere? Let Jones Brown Help
There are countless medications and devices on the market or that have recently been taken off of the market that has affected the lives of unknowing victims worldwide. The hardest part is getting this information out to these victims. Here you will find a list and all the information you need if you feel that you or a loved one has fallen victim to a defective drug or defective medical devices.
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Our Jones Brown Law team has experience helping countless victims of defective drugs and devices. We understand each case is different, however, we will help you recover what you are entitled to and we understand what you are going through when you are dealing with a defective drug lawsuit or a defective medical device lawsuit.
If you have suffered permanent hair loss as a result of taking Taxotere, you may have a valid claim against the manufacturer. Have a Jones Brown product liability attorney review your Taxotere claim for free by clicking HERE.