May 21, 2019 — A federal judge has ruled that Gilead Sciences Inc. must face a lawsuit from HIV patients who developed severe side effects in their bones and kidneys.
The lawsuit claimed that Gilead downplayed severe side effects of HIV drugs containing the active ingredient TDF.
Furthermore, the lawsuit claim that Gilead had a safer version of TDF called TAF, but held off on releasing the safer version until patents expired to boost profits.
U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar upheld various state law claims in the lawsuit, including design defect, negligence and product liability.
Attorneys for Gilead tried to argue that all of the claims should be thrown out because they were preempted by federal law.
However, Judge Tigar said Gilead did not point to a federal law that would have stopped Gilead from developing drugs that had TAF instead of TDF.
Judge Tigar dismissed patients’ claims that Gilead failed to warn them about the risks of TDF based on allegations that the company could have updated the label after 2008.
Judge Tigar also dismissed any fraud and consumer protection claims that were based on alleged misrepresentations about the safety of TDF medications.
The lawsuit is In RE: Holley et al. v. Gilead Sciences Inc. — Case No. 3:18-cv-06972 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
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