Testosterone lawsuits: Will there be a swell-up in the future?

by | May 3, 2024 | Mass Tort, Product Liability

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Is there a tendency to undergo testosterone replacement therapy on the rise among men? Will this rejuvenate the once-hot topic of testosterone lawsuits back into the seat?

Many online low-Testosterone testing and treatment services have popped up during and after the pandemic and reaped more than $1.7 million.

What might be behind the screen of such a situation?

The pandemic captivated people to an online frenzy, from shopping to even getting online prescriptions. This tragic period made many people depressed over miscellaneous things too.

Many of them had undergone depression, mood swings, tiredness, muscle weakness, and so on.

Google search led them to decide the symptoms as the cause of low testosterone levels. The alluring advertisements of testosterone therapy caught the attention of such men.

The therapy actually meant to treat hypogonadism, thus started leading to off-label uses by even men with normal testosterone levels.

Adverse Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy

No therapy comes without risks. When we use that for what it is intended for, we may benefit from that.

But unintended uses of these drugs may end up in danger. It became true in the case of testosterone replacement drugs.

The risks of testosterone drugs are listed as follows:

  • Stimulating enlargement of the prostate gland
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Sleep apnea
  • Skin irritation or acne
  • Restricted sperm count
  • Excessive red blood cell count leading to thrombosis
  • Risk of heart disease (not proved)

Will testosterone supplements cause hair loss?  When the testosterone levels increase, it will stimulate Dihydrotestosterone, an androgen in the human body. It can be accountable for causing baldness.

Can Low-T Really Be Beneficial for the Youth and the Old?

There is no detailed research on how far testosterone therapy on older men (with low -T levels) and youth (with normal testosterone levels) can boost their vitality.

American college physicians indicate that it might boost sexual activity in the youth. However, if it will work on all is a question mark.

There is no evidence to prove that older men can benefit from testosterone replacement therapy to increase their testosterone levels.

Before going to using such therapies, let’s know what proliferated the testosterone therapy lawsuits in the recent past. This will prevent us from being in a position to pursue new testosterone lawsuits in the future.

Proliferating Testosterone Lawsuits

Testosterone manufacturers started facing testosterone lawsuits in 2014. Thousands of lawsuits were filed all over the United States.

Most of the lawsuits were against AbbVie and that’s the reason we focus on AbbVie here. AbbVie’s Androgel was accused of causing heart attacks.

Out of the 7,000 plus lawsuits against testosterone replacement drugs, around 4,500 were AbbVie AndroGel lawsuits. Finally, it was forced to face an AbbVie Androgel global settlement.

AbbVie was not the only brand that faced testosterone lawsuits. Endo Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Juniper Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, and a few others were also on the bandwagon.

The testosterone class action lawsuits alleged that the low-T replacement therapy drugs elevated the risks of thrombosis, heart attacks, strokes, etc.

Since AbbVie’s AndroGel germinated the majority of testosterone drug lawsuits, let’s have a glance through it first.

What is AndroGel?

AndroGel is an odorless, clear gel that restores testosterone levels in men with hypogonadism (low testosterone levels). It has to be applied to the hands and chest.

Before going into the details of the side effects of the medication, let’s know the need for this prescription medicine.

Low testosterone levels or hypogonadism in men can cause drowsiness, reduction in sexual desire, depression, loss of energy, and reduction in body hair.

Evolution of AndroGel

AndroGel 1.62% was produced by AbbVie in the 2000s and got FDA approval in 2003.

Don’t think that AndroGel was given approval without trials.

After a two-phase trial on men with hypogonadism, the FDA found that around 82% of men who used the gel had improved in getting the average testosterone level in their bodies.

AndroGel was later bought by Abbott Laboratories in 2010. And thus, came into the frame of testosterone injection lawsuits.

After its introduction in the market, AndroGel found record-breaking sales for the first few years.

It was prescribed to 3 million people in a single year (2012). The next few years found the downside of its sales.

Keep in mind that the FDA did not approve AndroGel to treat low testosterone levels in older people. Because it is a natural process of losing testosterone levels once we age.

In March 2015, the FDA even issued a public warning that these testosterone drugs were not intended to treat the low-T level due to aging.

Reported Side Effects of AndroGel

The side effects listed below are reported by the victims who suffered from testosterone drugs.

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased red blood cell count
  • Skin irritation
  • Accidental exposure of children to AndroGel can cause early puberty signs
  • Enlargement of the prostate gland
  • More risk of prostate cancer
  • Swelling joints and body parts
  • Lowering sperm count
  • Heart attacks and stroke
  • Deep vein thrombosis

Testosterone Lawsuits MDL

All the testosterone lawsuits were consolidated as re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation in MDL no. 2545 under District court in the District of Illinois. Judge Matthew Kennelly presided over the testosterone bellwether trials.

Out of the first four bellwether trials, three were against AbbVie. In the meantime, in the Cook County Circuit Court, AndroGel testosterone lawsuits filed by Illinois claimants against Abbvie were awaiting the verdict.

The manufacturers were accused of misleading the older menfolk of the benefits of the drug through advertisements.

Jesse Mitchell:

The first bellwether gave a shattering blow to AbbVie as it was ordered to pay $150 million for being the cause of misleading the plaintiff Jesse Mitchell into using the product. However, the Jury did not agree that AbbVie was responsible for causing his heart attack.

The first verdict was overturned later, and the case was ordered for a new trial. Finally, AbbVie was ordered to pay $3.2 million as a testosterone lawsuit payout for causing the heart attack.

Jeffrey Konrad:

Another verdict on a misrepresentation of the drug’s risks forced it to settle $140 million in punitive damages to Jeffrey Konrad on his AndroGel lawsuit.

Robert Nolte:

This 72-year-old Arizona man started using AbbVie’s product after being enticed by the promotional ads on television. It is advertised to be an apt therapy for fatigue and less sex drive.

However, in an AndroGel lawsuit news from 2018, we know that a Chicago jury decided to give a defense verdict clearing AbbVie’s liability in causing a heart attack to Nolte.

Arthur Myers:

Mr. Myers’ lawsuit against testosterone alleged that AndroGel caused a pulmonary embolism in 2008. He used the gel from 2003 to 2008.  The trial went in favor of the defense.

Robert Rowley:

He lost his testosterone lawsuit trial, alleging the gel was the cause of his deep vein thrombosis.

The lawsuit against the testosterone manufacturers alleged that they specifically targeted older men who would normally have low testosterone levels without properly warning them of the risks.

Defendants in Other Low Testosterone Lawsuits

Let’s see the various testosterone drugs that faced lawsuits and their manufacturers.


FDA Warning Against the Testosterone Makers

Never think that the FDA had closed its eyes against the off-label uses of testosterone drugs. It has given various safety warnings periodically to the public as well as to the manufacturers. Let’s have a glance at a few here.


 Testosterone Lawsuit Settlements

The testosterone lawsuit updates of the last decade reveal that most testosterone drug manufacturers settled lawsuits against their products in 2017 and 2018. Most of the testosterone lawsuit settlement amounts were kept a secret from the public, says the latest testosterone lawsuit news.

Pfizer: More than a thousand testosterone replacement therapy lawsuits against Pfizer were dismissed in 2015. The Jury granted Pfizer’s motion request for dismissal. Only a few depo testosterone lawsuits were pending after the dismissal.

Eli Lilly & Co.: Approximately 400 Axiron lawsuits against Eli Lilly & Co. reached global testosterone settlements in December 2017.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals and others: Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline LLC came to an agreement to resolve more than 1,300 testosterone lawsuits in February 2018.

Endo pharmaceuticals: Endo even came forward to allocate more than $200 million in addition to the already decided testosterone settlement amount to settle the low T lawsuits against them. These Testim lawsuits claimed the drug caused heart attacks and stroke.

Actavis Inc.: Actavis made a secret settlement to resolve the Actavis testosterone lawsuits in the first half of 2018. In this settlement, Allergan covered more than 500 Androderm lawsuits (Actavis was later acquired by Allergan).

AbbVie: According to an Androgel lawsuit update 2017,  AbbVie was compelled to pay more than $150 million in punitive damages to settle some AbbVie testosterone lawsuits. Having the lion’s share in the total testosterone lawsuits, AbbVie announced a global settlement to seal the remaining AndroGel lawsuits for $775 million in June 2019. That was the most considerable Androgel lawsuit settlements amounts of that time and the latest news about Androgel lawsuit settlement from AbbVie.

Let’s Talk About the Trend

After going through the testosterone lawsuit news of the past decade, what do you think? Do you want to become one of those victims?

The number of manufacturers and global settlements tell you the aftermath of testosterone’s intended and unintended use.

Even men with no past cardiac or other health issues were found to be suffered after the use of testosterone therapy.

If you really think that you have low-T levels, consult a doctor to measure that. Analyze the risks and benefits of undergoing testosterone replacement therapy. If the benefits overshadow the risks, then you can undergo the treatment.

If not, definitely opt not to be healthy. Physicians never advise the use of low-T therapies on healthy individuals and older men.

The drive to increase muscle mass and more elevated sexual function is normal among the youth. But risks are more adverse than benefits. Never expect testosterone therapy to work like Viagra.

Choose wisely and go ahead!

Many lawyers still accept testosterone claims. If you are affected by low-T therapy drugs, consult an experienced attorney to know the possibility of a claim.

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