Taxotere is a top-selling chemotherapy drug prescribed to combat breast cancer in women. While temporary hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy medications, many allege that Taxotere (docetaxel) causes permanent hair loss and that manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis knew of this side effect but failed to warn patients.
If you developed alopecia after taking docetaxel for breast cancer, talk to an attorney at Showard Law Firm about your options for pursuing a Taxotere lawsuit. Thousands of breast cancer survivors are seeking justice for the emotional turmoil caused by this distressing side effect. With a talented legal advocate in your corner, victims of Taxotere permanent hair loss can hold manufacturers accountable for negligence and deceptive marketing.
Permanent hair loss from Taxotere
Permanent hair loss after Taxotere is the number one allegation in lawsuits pending against Sanofi and Aventis Pharma S.A. – both involved in the design, manufacture and marketing of docetaxel. Like most claims involving defective drugs, plaintiffs level the charge of “failure to warn.” In this case, the original packaging of Taxotere stated that “hair generally grows back” after the chemo treatment is completed. Unfortunately, this was not the case for thousands of women, who now faced the daunting prospect of permanent baldness.
Scientific studies dating back to 1998 demonstrated that treatment with Taxotere could lead to lasting alopecia. Despite evidence showing this possible side effect, Sanofi failed to warn the public. In fact, Sanofi waited until 2015 to rephrase Taxotere labeling to include the verbiage that cases of “permanent hair loss have been reported.”
It is likely that each Taxotere hair loss lawsuit will cite results of the GEICAM 9805 study – one that was funded by Sanofi and designed to compare the efficacy of docetaxel with other chemotherapy drugs. The findings of that particular study showed that Taxotere was very effective at shrinking cancerous tumors, but 9.2 percent of Taxotere patients developed lingering alopecia.
In scientific literature, alopecia has been shown to cause a significant reduction in self-esteem, confidence and quality of life. This impact is even more apparent in breast cancer survivors, who are faced with crippling anxiety and poor social functioning. They are further angered that chemotherapy alternatives existed — drugs that were not linked to permanent hair loss.
Allegations leveled in Taxotere hair loss claims
There are several effective breast cancer drugs on the market, but plaintiffs argue that Sanofi and several other docetaxel manufacturers subjected women to disfiguring permanent alopecia by:
- Misleading advertising that promoted Taxotere as more effective than similar chemotherapy drugs
- Marketing Taxotere without disclosing all known risks and side effects
- Failing to adequately warn health care providers and patients about hair loss risks
- Purposefully downplaying possible side effects of Taxotere
At Showard Law Firm, we are dedicated to restoring the dignity and well-being of our clients and put all our resources toward achieving a favorable outcome for those who have been harmed by a dangerous drug.
Minimal FDA action connected with Taxotere
Taxotere was approved in 1996 to treat various types of cancer, including breast, neck, prostate and non-small-cell lung cancer. In 2009, the FDA warned drug maker Sanofi about its marketing of Taxotere for lung and breast cancer, citing the misleading nature of commercials that minimized the potentially life-threatening risks linked to the drug. The federal agency also issued a drug safety communication that docetaxel may produce symptoms of alcohol intoxication after treatment.
Other side effects associated with Taxotere include:
- Skin rashes
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Fluid retention
- Muscle soreness
- Reduced white blood cell count
- Permanent loss of hair
Federal Taxotere cases involving permanent hair loss were consolidated for pre-trial proceedings in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt was overseeing the Multidistrict Litigation #2740 IN RE: Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation until June of 2018 when he was named to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is the new judge overseeing the MDL where about 9,200 lawsuits are currently pending.
The complaints have been filed by breast cancer survivors as well as their families against the makers of Taxotere and its generic equivalents. Centralizing similar cases will help improve efficiencies, but unlike a Taxotere class action lawsuit, each case will be heard individually and judged according to its unique strengths and merits.
Representative cases known as bellwethers have been scheduled in MDL 2740 for May 13, 2019 and thereafter. The outcomes of these early trials are often a good indicator for the rest of the litigation and may provoke global settlement negotiations.
Taxotere lawsuit settlement amounts
Big Pharma earns billions of dollars on chemotherapy drugs like Taxotere. In mass litigation, drug companies may find it less costly and burdensome to resolve claims with a global accord. Each plaintiff would reserve the right to accept a proposed Taxotere settlement or take the case before a jury.
Potential Taxotere settlements and/or verdicts will account for both economic and non-economic damages including:
- Medical costs
- Loss of past and future income
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Do I qualify for filing a Taxotere lawsuit?
The Showard Law Firm can help clients file a lawsuit based on Taxotere-related hair loss. Reach out for a free consultation if you:
- Were prescribed Taxotere for breast cancer
- Developed partial or total hair loss that is permanent
A Taxotere lawyer can help
The potentially devastating effects of Taxotere hair loss are now well-documented, empowering more victims to take legal action against Sanofi. There is no fee to discuss your case with Showard Law Firm, a client-driven practice that is one of the country’s only all-female mass tort law firms. Over the past 12 years, our award-winning team has procured millions of dollars in settlements. Put our passion, experience, and commitment to work for you.
Additional Taxotere resources:
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, MDL – 2740 Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation http://www.laed.uscourts.gov/case-information/mdl-mass-class-action/taxotere
- S. JPML, MDL 2740 Taxotere Litigation Transfer Order http://www.laed.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/taxotere/Taxotere.MDL_.2740.Transfer.Order_.10-4-16.pdf
- Lemieux, J, Chemotherapy-induced alopecia and effects on quality of life among women with breast cancer: a literature review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17721909
- ClinicalTrials.gov, Swiss Taxotere Alopecia Prevention Trial https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01008774
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