Increasing Number Of AndroGel / Axiron / Testim Lawsuits Allege Heart Attacks And Strokes, With Highest Side Effects Risks Being For Older Men Or Those With Cardiac Conditions
UPDATE: In an order released June 6, 2014 the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated more than 40 testosterone replacement therapy products lawsuits alleging cardiovascular injuries.
The name of this newly established federal court MDL is In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, and it has been assigned to federal court Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where a majority of the cases were pending against manufacturers of the products.
With the increasing number of drug injury lawsuits alleging testosterone-related heart attacks and strokes being asserted against various pharmaceutical companies, it comes as no surprise to legal observers that a so-called "MDL motion" to consolidate certain of those federal court cases has been filed.
From this March 29, 2014 article, "Plaintiffs File Motion to Consolidate All Federal Lawsuits Linking AndroGel Testosterone Therapy to Heart Attacks, Strokes" (subscription required for full article), published by HarrisMartin:
Plaintiffs in more than a dozen federal lawsuits accusing Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie Inc. of concealing cardiovascular risks associated with the testosterone replacement therapy AndroGel have filed a petition to have all similar cases around the country transferred to Illinois.
In a brief submitted March 28, lawyers for plaintiffs in 13 of the 38 cases pending in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Colorado asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to create a docket in U.S. District Court for centralized management of the federal lawsuits....
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Moving from the legal side of this still relatively new testosterone replacement drugs litigation to the medical side, we turn our attention to this somewhat more intriguing recent development.
In a March 25, 2014 letter to Howard Bauchner, MD, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a not-before-heard-of group of doctors, the Androgen Study Group (ASG), has requested the retraction of a paper about testosterone drugs side effects which was published by JAMA in November 2013.
In this November 2013 JAMA article Michael Ho, MD, PhD, of the Eastern Colorado VA, and his medical researcher colleagues reported their findings as regards testosterone therapy in male veterans who had coronary angiography procedures done. See our earlier report: "Increasingly Popular Testosterone Replacement Therapy Drugs Are Linked To Myocardial Infarctions Or Heart Attacks, Strokes, And Deaths."
To understand why this particular March 25 ASG letter to JAMA is a bit unusual, let us break things down at a bit for you.
From the Home page of the Adrogen Study Group web site (accessed 3/31/14):
The Androgen Study Group is a newly formed multidisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers dedicated to education and accurate reporting on the science of testosterone deficiency in men and its treatment.
A search on the WHOIS site (accessed 3/31/14) shows that the androgenstudygroup.org URL for this AGS site was created, i.e., purchased, on March 18, 2014.
According to the WHOIS site, the Registrant for this URL is Abraham Morgentaler, of Men's Health Boston.
And at the website for this Men's Health Boston organization, from the "What We Offer" page (accessed 3/31/14):
The staff at Men's Health Boston have been pioneers in raising awareness of testosterone deficiency in men, and the importance of treating low T. As many as 20-30% of men over the age of 45 years have symptoms of low T. Younger men may also be affected. Symptoms include reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depressed mood, loss of muscle strength and mass, and increased fat, especially in the abdomen....
(Does this sound familiar to something you have heard before -- on TV, perhaps...?)
Next, going back to the Androgen Study Group web site, we find the one and only "Initiative" of ASG to date is this March 25 "Letter to JAMA asking for the retraction of misleading article on testosterone therapy".
And of course, like the ASG, we want you to see their one and only Press Release: "World Experts and Androgen Study Group Petition JAMA to Retract Misleading Article on Testosterone Therapy". From that item, near the end, we found this "mission-statement" type sentence:
[The Androgen Study Group] was organized specifically to respond to the recent unwarranted, unscientific attacks on testosterone therapy in the medical press and public media.
Lastly, as pointed out by this March 26, 2014 MedPage Today article, "Group Wants Testosterone Study Retracted":
Several members of the Androgen Study Group have relationships with testosterone drugmakers, including AbbVie, Bayer, and Merck.
You can draw your own inferences and conclusions.....
And be assured that we will continue to monitor the drug injury products liability litigation involving AndroGel, Axiron, Testim, and other testosterone replacement products.