If your oncologist treated you with the taxane chemotherapeutic drug Taxotere (generic name: docetaxel)and you have suffered permanent hair loss (alopecia), you need to contact a law firm immediately to discuss your participation in the class action lawsuit against Sanofi-Aventis. That is the French pharmaceutical company that made and marketed the drug. Alopecia can include hair loss all over your body, not simply the top of your head.
On September 7, 2017, the trial judge overseeing the case issued a pre-trial order compelling all participating attorneys to submit the information and affected plaintiffs by September 30. That has been delayed, but the judge will soon close the case to new plaintiffs. The trial date is already set for January 2019. That’s over a year away, but that’s not a long time for massive, complex lawsuits. And the attorneys for each party are already negotiating.
Therefore, you must join the lawsuit immediately, or you risk missing out on your share of the taxotere lawsuit deadline.
The Federal Food and Drug Administration approved Taxotere for the treatment of breast cancer in 1996. At that time, Sanofi-Avantis informed the FDA and patients that Taxotere could cause “temporary” hair loss. This is a common side effect for chemotherapeutic drugs because they damage cells that grow faster than most body tissues. That is why they are effective against cancer. Unrestrained growth is a hallmark of cancer.
However, the GEICAM 9580 study showed that up to 10% of women treated with Taxotere suffered from permanent hair loss. Various sources began showing that Taxotere caused permanent alopecia in from 6% to 15% of the patients. The packaging warned patients in Europe of the risk of permanent rather than temporary hair loss starting in 2005. Sanofi-Avantis began warning Canadian patients in 2012. However, the FDA did not force the company to update the warning in the United States until December 2015. The plaintiffs argue that because the company did not inform them of the risk, they suffered the loss of the right to informed consent.
A related problem is that Sanofi-Aventis has marketed Taxotere using claims that it is superior to its competitors. However, studies show paclitaxel (brand name in the US: Taxol) is just as effective as Taxotere. And it’s less expensive. Therefore, Taxofere patients were not faced with a life or death decision where that drug was their only conventional medical treatment choice.
The Taxofere multi-district lawsuit (MDL) is being handled in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. It’s “Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 2740” and consists of thousands of cases from around the country. However, hundreds or thousands of other patients who suffered hair loss from treatment with Taxotere may exist. In total, around 2 million women receiveed Taxotere. Those are the people who need to join the consolidated lawsuit immediately.
Later on, oncologists also used Taxofere to treat prostate, non-small cell lung, advanced stomach, and head and neck cancers. Therefore, the lawsuit includes all plaintiffs who suffer permanent alopecia from treatment with Taxofere. If you are one of those patients, you may be entitled to compensation for the emotional damage caused by your permanent hair loss and other damages.