January 10, 2017 — In less than three months, more than 250 Taxotere lawsuits have been filed by women who survived cancer but suffered permanent hair loss after chemotherapy.
In October 2016, judges centralized dozens of lawsuits nationwide into one federal court in Louisiana under Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt — Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2740).
There were 267 lawsuits pending in the MDL as of December 15, 2016, with even more filed since the judges last released case counts.
Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug that has been on the market since 1996. It is commonly used in combination with other drugs to treat women with breast cancer.
In December 2015, Sanofi-Aventis updated the label to warn about reports of permanent alopecia (hair loss). Until then, the label told women that “hair generally grows back” after they complete treatment.
Lawyers accuse the drug-maker of downplaying the risk. Warnings about permanent hair loss were on Canadian drug-labels in 2005, and European labels in 2012.
According to one lawsuit filed last year by a woman in California, a study by Sanofi-Aventis in the 1990s concluded that 9.2% of women who were given Taxotere, Adriamycin, and Cyclophosphamide (TAC) suffered persistent hair loss during the 10-year follow-up period.
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