Temporary hair loss is an expected side effect of many cancer-fighting medications. Patients expect to lose their hair during treatment, but they also expect to regrow hair after treatment ends.
They do not expect to be bald forever.
Unfortunately, for many years women who took Taxotere to fight breast cancer did not know that permanent hair loss (also known as permanent alopecia) could occur. Taxotere was originally approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, but permanent hair loss was not included as a side effect on its warning label in the United States until December 2015.
Permanent Hair Loss Is Why People Are Filing Taxotere Lawsuits
Women who received Taxotere infusions as part of their cancer treatments allege that they did not know of the risk before beginning cancer treatment. Specifically, they allege that Sanofi-Aventis, the maker of Taxotere, failed to warn them of the risk.
Of course, no one would argue that permanent hair loss is a fate worse than death from breast cancer. However, Taxotere is not the only treatment for breast cancer. Other treatments are just as effective in the treatment of breast cancer.
Each individual cancer patient deserves to know all of the potential risks of a medication so that she can make an informed decision about her own care. If other equally effective medications do not have the side effect of permanent hair loss, then an individual patient may decide to choose that medication rather than risk living without hair for the rest of her life.
Permanent alopecia is not purely a cosmetic condition. It can impact a woman’s self-esteem, and it can cause serious anxiety and clinical depression. In turn, these conditions may impact her personal relationships, ability to work, and overall happiness.
As of February 2019, thousands of women had filed lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis as the manufacturer of Taxotere and other pharmaceutical companies that made generic versions of Taxotere. The lawsuits allege that:
- The pharmaceutical companies failed to warn patients that permanent alopecia is a Taxotere side effect.
- Sanofi-Aventis concealed information about the risk of permanent hair loss from Taxotere users.
- Sanofi-Aventis wrongly promoted Taxotere as being more effective than other types of breast cancer treatments that may be less toxic.
The lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis and the generic manufacturers are currently part of multidistrict litigation. Multidistrict litigation allows individual women to bring their own lawsuits with their own attorneys. However, the lawsuits are heard by one judge in one court. This allows litigation to move faster than it otherwise would if the cases were heard in different courts around the country.
Bellwether lawsuits are currently scheduled for 2019 and 2020. These cases will test the plaintiffs’ evidence and legal theories, and are, therefore, important to all women who may have Taxotere hair loss claims.
Get the Legal Help You Deserve If You’ve Suffered Permanent Alopecia From Taxotere
If Taxotere was part of your treatment for Stage I, II, or III breast cancer before December 2015 and you suffered permanent hair loss as a result, then we encourage you to find out more about your rights.
You had tough decisions to make as a cancer patient. Among those really hard choices was deciding which cancer treatment medications to take. You deserved to have all of the relevant information necessary to make informed decisions. If Sanofi-Aventis or a maker of a generic form of Taxotere denied you the opportunity to make an informed decision by failing to provide you with adequate warnings about Taxotere’s side effects and if you suffered permanent hair loss, then you should contact a drug injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Our lawyers will investigate your claim and fight hard to hold the responsible pharmaceutical company accountable. We will do everything that we can to help you recover for your past and future medical treatments, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, and suffering. Contact us today via this website or by phone to learn more.