A judge in California has combined all lawsuits against Gilead Sciences, Inc., over its tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) medicines. The California Atripla lawsuits will now be coordinated as a single action, which will allow efficient adjudication in the state’s court system. Combining the lawsuits will also help plaintiffs claiming injuries from Gilead’s medications to litigate their claims in one courtroom.
TDF is a medication that helps control the spread of HIV. The drug is sold under the name Atripla as well as Viread, Truvada, Complera, and Stribild. Lawsuits have alleged serious side effects resulting from Gilead’s TDF medicines. Plaintiffs have also claimed that Gilead deliberately withheld a safer, more effective alternative to boost profits. Atripla is one drug in particular that has been the focus of such lawsuits across the country.
Gilead is based in Foster City, California. Before the case combination, at least 26 complaints had been filed throughout the state on behalf of hundreds of patients. Plaintiffs’ attorneys argue that case coordination helps ensure consistent and quicker court rulings.
Atripla combines TDF with the drugs efavirenz (EFV) and emtricitabine (FTC). EFV and FTC help treat HIV complications. Atripla contains high concentrations of its constituent drugs and is usually taken as a pill once a day. The medication is known to cause side effects including dizziness, headache, fatigue, stomach pain, muscle pain, diarrhea, nausea, and depression.
However, Atripla and other TDF drugs have also been connected to more serious health problems. These include complications affecting the bones. Some patients have reported osteoporosis and osteopenia (loss of bone density). Weaker and thinner bones are more susceptible to fractures, even with minor injuries.
TDF medications have also been linked to kidney problems for many patients. These include:
- Kidney injury
- Renal failure
- Reduced kidney function
- Chronic kidney disease
- Kidney tubular dysfunction
- Fanconi syndrome
Plaintiffs argue that Gilead knew about these and other side effects for years, but did nothing. In particular, they say, the company did not disclose such problems on their warning labels. The company may have even developed a safer drug containing tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF) which it kept secret. California Atripla Lawsuits claim that Gilead concealed research indicating that lower doses of TAF medications achieve nearly the same results. Instead of pulling the more toxic TDF drugs off the market, however, Gilead allegedly shelved TAF. The company is accused of waiting until the TDF patents expired to sell drugs containing TAF.
In the meantime, patients were sold less safe and less effective TDF medicines like Atripla. When companies engage in such deceptive practices, they prevent patients from making informed choices about their health. This also makes it more difficult for doctors to adequately treat diseases.
The news from California is encouraging to patients across the country who are seeking compensation for TDF injuries. Lawsuits there and elsewhere have alleged manufacturing defects, failure to warn, and strict liability, among other claims. Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical expenses, past and present
- Future medical expenses for continued treatment
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event of wrongful death
- Legal fees
Injured patients should contact a mass tort or personal injury attorney concerning Atripla and TDF drug claims. They should keep medical records concerning their treatment, as well as anything showing lost time from work and other damages.
INJURED DRUG PATIENTS DESERVE COMPENSATION
Companies that put profits before people endanger public health. Patients should not have to wonder if the medicines they take will cause undisclosed side effects. They deserve compensation for the losses they’ve suffered. Reach out to a drug injury attorney at Persist Communications today to discuss your legal rights.