September 13, 2016 — There are now more than 50 lawsuits filed by women who went bald after using the chemotherapy drug Taxotere.
The cases are spread out in 27 federal courts nationwide, according to court documents filed by two women who filed lawsuits in California.
Lawyers for the women expressed support for centralizing the lawsuits in the Northern District of California. According to a response (PDF) filed on September 7:
“Thousands more cases will likely be filed in this matter, due to the widespread use of the drug and the significant percentage of women impacted by permanent hair loss.”
On September 29, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) meets to decide whether to centralize the lawsuits into one federal court under one judge.
All of the lawsuits claim Sanofi-Aventis knew or should have known about the risk of permanent hair loss from Taxotere, but failed to provide adequate warnings to patients or doctors in the United States.
The label on Taxotere was updated to include permanent alopecia in December 2015 — a decade after Sanofi-Aventis issued warnings in Europe, and three years after the label was updated in Canada.
In 2005, clinical trials sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis found that 10% of women who were treated with Taxotere, Adriamycin, and Cyclophosphamide (TAC regimen) had hair loss that persisted for up to 10 years and 5 months after completing chemotherapy.
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