Struggling with breast cancer is enough of a battle without also worrying about whether your chemotherapy drugs are safe. Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug approved for the treatment of breast cancer, some stomach, head, neck, and lung cancers as well as some prostate cancers.
Taxotere prevents cancer cells from dividing and growing and is popular because it requires fewer treatments than its competitor drug, paclitaxel. Sadly, the drug also causes permanent hair loss for many women. These users are now suing Taxotere’s manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, for failing to warn health care providers properly about this risk.
Permanent hair loss (also called alopecia) is disfiguring and can cause body image problems, depression, and anxiety. While temporary hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, women using Taxotere weren’t prepared to lose their hair permanently. Of the breast cancer patients who took Taxotere, about 9% suffered alopecia that lasted a decade or longer. Now, these women are filing lawsuits against the manufacturer for failing to include alopecia or permanent hair loss on the list of side effects for the drug.
The permanent loss of hair is more than an aesthetic issue for women. It’s a constant reminder of their battle. The loss is highly emotional as well as physical and financial. Women buy wigs and scarves to cover their hair, which may grow in fine wisps or clumps, if at all. Life will never be the same for these women, who will “forever look like cancer patients,” as one of the victims of the drug’s side effects stated.
Sanofi warned patients of side effects such as low white blood cell count, fluid retention, nausea, fatigue, and hair loss—but failed to mention that hair loss may be permanent. A proper warning about this devastating potential side effect would have caused many women to choose paclitaxel, a drug just as effective as Taxotere, instead. Taxotere has brought renewed suffering to the lives of breast cancer patients, who deserve compensation. The best way to seek compensation for emotional and physical losses that someone else’s negligence caused is to file a lawsuit.
Currently, women around the nation have filed lawsuits against Sanofi for several actions, including failing to determine whether the drug was safe. The law obligates drug manufacturers to provide a safe product to consumers and to warn against any risks or dangers associated with the drug. Sanofi not only manufactured a dangerous drug, but it also concealed information from the public and downplayed the drug’s dangers. The company misled the public through false advertising and sold the drug without conducting proper tests.
According to current lawsuits, Sanofi sponsored a study about the drug in the late 1990s. By 2005, the company had results that showed 9.2% of women who used Taxotere suffered permanent hair loss. Still, the company didn’t warn health care providers or the public about this devastating side effect. Hair loss is one of the worst side effects of chemotherapy, but women could at least take heart in the fact that is wasn’t permanent. Sanofi has stripped women of this promise and lowered their quality of life.
If you need a mass tort attorney who specializes in injuries sustained after taking a drug, contact us at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP. Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly featured our team as the state’s “most powerful” attorneys because of our determination to win compensation for injured victims. A mass tort is a type of personal injury case that occurs when a dangerous product affects numerous people. Mass torts improve your ability to obtain a settlement. Let us take your Taxotere mass tort to court and fight for your rights as an innocent victim. Call today at (617) 391-9001.