A group of testosterone treatment manufacturers are supporting a motion filed by plaintiffs suing the drug makers over testosterone side effects to create a new mass tort program in Pennsylvania state court. The motion would consolidate about 30 pending cases in order to ease discovery and allow for better coordination with attorneys handling a related multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Illinois federal court.
Both the plaintiffs and defendants agreed that the consolidation made sense from a practical perspective. The motion was filed in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. Defendants include AbbVie Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline LLC.
The lawsuits against manufacturers of testosterone replacement therapies mounted after studies showed that men who used testosterone treatments were at a 30 percent increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying after three years of treatment. A second study found that men who used testosterone treatments were at significant increased risk of heart attack or stroke during the first 90 days of use.
The first lawsuits were filed in Philadelphia in March 2014 against AbbVie and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, which was later purchased by Endo. All lawsuits allege that the drug makers did not adequately test the drugs for safety and concealed testosterone side effects. The plaintiffs also blame testosterone manufacturers of pushing the products for off-label uses for the treatment of a fictitious condition they called “Low T.”
The motion filed last month claimed that the creation of a mass tort status would make it easier to sync discovery with the multidistrict litigation currently underway, where more than 3,800 lawsuits are pending.