The Louisiana Taxotere multidistrict litigation (MDL) that began in the Eastern District of Louisiana in 2016 with just several dozen Taxotere alopecia lawsuits now includes more than 1,100 plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that Taxotere maker Sanofi-Aventis was aware of decades-old research suggesting that 9.2 percent of Taxotere patients experienced persistent hair loss for up to 10 years or longer, yet failed to warn doctors and consumers, and also claim that the company illegally promoted the use of the drug for patients with early-stage breast cancer. In 2009, the FDA sent Sanofi a warning letter accusing the company of making false and misleading statements about the safety and efficacy of Taxotere.
Taxotere Hit The Market In 1996
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the chemotherapy drug Taxotere (docetaxel) in 1996 to treat breast cancer, non-small lung cancer, and prostate cancer. While there are other chemotherapy drugs available, Taxotere is touted as more effective and capable of successfully treating cancer with fewer rounds of chemotherapy in less time. The highly potent drug, like many chemotherapy medications, can lead to hair loss, but unlike other such drugs, hair loss associated with Taxotere use can be permanent.
Taxotere Alopecia – FDA Approves Label Change
Although information regarding Taxotere and alopecia was provided to doctors and patients in Europe as early as 2005 and Canada in 2012, it was not until December 2015, that the FDA updated its safety information on Taxotere to include the following information: “Permanent cases of alopecia have been reported.”
The Taxotere label previously indicated that approximately three percent of patients could experience permanent hair loss when using the drug, although studies have indicated that percentage could actually be as high as six to 16 percent.
If you or anyone you know has suffered from Taxotere alopecia make sure to share this information with them.