Substantial evidence that drugmaker Gilead intentionally stalled the development of a safer version of TDF-based (Tenofovir Disoproxyl Fumarate) HIV drugs for over a decade. Because of the delay, some patients taking high-dose TDF medications needlessly developed kidney and bone complications. We are currently reviewing cases of patients who developed bone density loss, kidney disease, or other serious injuries while taking the following TDF-based HIV medications:
The safer form of TDF is known as TAF (Tenofovir Alafenamide Fumarate), with the trade names Vemlidy, Genvoya, Cobicistat, Odefsy, and Descovy – also manufactured by Gilead. Though the company had an opportunity to develop a safer drug formulation in the early 2000s, Gilead instead chose to maximize sales of its more dangerous HIV drugs during its exclusive patent window. The result was that for many years patients were not given the option to take less risky medications.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious kidney or bone damage from Truvada or other HIV medications, contact Showard Law Firm to discuss your eligibility to file an HIV drug lawsuit. You may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation for your losses, including past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages from missed work, and more. Pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable when they put profits over people, raking in billions of dollars while HIV patients suffer. Showard Law Firm is dedicated to taking on Big Pharma and fighting for justice for those who have been harmed by negligence on the part of drug manufacturers.
Please call our offices today for a free consultation with a compassionate, knowledgeable HIV drug lawyer. Learn your rights, and get all the information you need to decide whether filing a TDF medication lawsuit is the right step for you.
Basis of TDF Lawsuits
TDF lawsuit plaintiffs allege that Gilead knew full well that its TDF drugs could cause serious side effects as early as 2001, but did nothing about it. By 2002, they were aware that TAF drugs were far less toxic, but they suppressed the research and failed to bring TAF drugs to market because they had a solid monopoly on TDF drugs and sales were good. According to lawsuit claims, for more than a decade Gilead recklessly sat on this knowledge, while patients broke bones, endured dialysis, went onto kidney transplant waitlists, and even died.
TAF was eventually released to the market – only as the TDF patent was nearing expiration.
Pharmaceutical companies have a duty to test their drugs, minimize harm, and release only safe products to the market. By failing to honestly disclose what they knew when they knew it, they needlessly put patients in harm’s way, which is grounds for a product liability lawsuit.
Primary Side Effects of HIV Drugs
HIV medications come with the risk of mild side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and dizziness. These side effects typically occur within the first two days of taking the drug and may resolve within two to four weeks as the body gets used to the new substance.
While some HIV medication side effects are to be expected, other adverse effects might make patients and their doctors reconsider whether this type of treatment is really necessary, particularly if the patient has a history of kidney or bone health issues.
Injuries associated with HIV drugs containing Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate include:
- Osteopenia is a condition where people have weaker than normal bones, resulting in pain, loss of posture, and increased fracture risk. While treatment can help, it cannot be cured.
- Osteoporosis is a similar condition, where a minor fall, coughing fit, or sneeze could cause multiple fractures. Of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men will break a bone.
- A 12% increased risk of bone fracture was found in one study. An Australian study revealed an average of 2-3% loss in bone mineral density, with 16-27% of patients measuring higher than 5% BMD loss. Most people do not realize they have fragile bones until one breaks. The cost of treating a broken bone in the hospital is about $13,000.
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD) develops after three months of diminished kidney function and typically progresses to end-stage kidney failure. Once the body cannot clean the blood, filter out excess water or control blood pressure on its own, dialysis or a kidney transplant is required to survive.
- Acute kidney injury (AKI) or acute renal failure (ARF) occurs when waste builds up in the blood, causing an imbalance in body fluids that necessitates emergency medical care to ensure the kidneys are not permanently damaged.
- Fanconi syndrome is a rare tube disorder where excessive glucose, bicarbonate, phosphates, uric acid, potassium, and amino acids are excreted in the urine, rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream. The end result is muscle weakness, bone fracture, and pain.
- Renal tubular dysfunction leads to fluid loss and electrolyte abnormalities that can cause kidney stones, chronic fatigue, painful urination, vomiting, pain, and weakness.
- Lactic acidosis is a potentially fatal side effect of HIV medication that occurs with the buildup of lactate, which causes the tissues and blood to become overly acidic. Acute symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fatigue, and shortness of breath. The median survival rate for patients with lactic acidosis-related shock was 28 hours.
- Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) or fatty liver (steatosis) begins with symptoms like yellowed eyes, dark-colored urine, light-colored stools, persistent loss of appetite, nausea, and stomach pain, and can be fatal if untreated.
HIV Medications List
Lawsuits filed over HIV medication injuries include:
- Truvada lawsuit
- Viread Lawsuit
- Atripla Lawsuit
- Complera Lawsuit
- Stribild Lawsuit
HIV Drug Manufacturer
Gilead Sciences Inc. was started in 1987 by a 29-year-old medical doctor looking for a dengue fever cure. The company focused on small-molecule antiviral therapies, which paved the way for HIV and hepatitis B treatments first marketed in 2001. In addition to HIV drugs, Gilead is known for Tamiflu, AmBisome, Harvoni, Yecarta, and a number of other blockbuster drugs. The big part of the company’s annual revenue depends on sales of tenofovir-based drugs like Truvada, Atripla, Complera, Stribild, and Viread. All told, these drugs account for nearly $6 billion a year.
FDA History of Actions and Recalls
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has remained publicly silent on the safety issues associated with HIV medication. Behind the scenes, however, the FDA has issued warning letters to Gilead for violating the law with off-label marketing practices and dishonest marketing that downplayed risks and promoted their drugs using untested theories. Several label changes were approved to enhance safety risk warnings. The FDA’s adverse event database includes over 9,000 reports, including 7,575 serious injuries and 657 deaths since 2005.
Tenofovir Lawsuits: Multidistrict Litigation
The first tenofovir lawsuit was filed in May 2018 on behalf of a young man with the bones of an 85-year-old. Claims included strict product liability, negligent product liability, breach of strict warranty, and breach of implied warranty. Other claims were filed under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law. Since these lawsuits are so recent, no settlements or jury awards have been granted.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer With Experience in TDF Lawsuits
If you have sustained bone or kidney injuries after taking Truvada or other tenofovir HIV drugs, contact Showard Law Firm for a free consultation and contingency-based representation. You owe no money for legal representation unless we recover damages on your behalf. If your claim is successful, you could receive money for medical treatments, medication, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages. Punitive damages may also be sought, to send a loud and clear message to negligent drug makers that they will have to pay the price for their negligence. Call today to see how much your HIV medication lawsuit could be worth.