August 13, 2013 — Merck & Co. has published a Quarterly SEC Regulatory Filing that includes updated information on Propecia lawsuits. The company is facing approximately 1,040 Propecia and Proscar lawsuits involving 1,370 plaintiffs, including many spouses claiming loss of consortium, as of June 30.
Most of of the claims involve allegations of persistent sexual side effects after discontinuing treatment with Propecia or Proscar. Merck has also disclosed that approximately 24 lawsuits allege that Propecia or Proscar are responsible for their prostate cancer or male breast cancer.
The active ingredient in these drugs, finasteride, treats enlarged prostate and/or hair-loss by metabolizing testosterone into the most-potent hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Plaintiffs allege that this can lead to dramatic hormonal imbalances that can cause permanent sexual dysfunction.
The lawsuits are filed throughout the United States, but the majority are centralized in litigations in New Jersey and New York. In April 2012, a panel of federal judges established a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York before Judge John Gleeson. The actions pending in New Jersey are pending before Judge Jessica Mayer in Middlesex County.
Side effects associated with Propecia include:
- Persistent sexual side effects
- Loss of libido
- Post-Finasteride Syndrome
- Erectile dysfunction
- Orgasm disorder
- Ejaculation disorders
- Gynecomastia (enlarged male breast tissue)
- Male breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- And more
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