Of the eight cases scheduled to be tried as bellwethers in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Illinois involving hundreds of lawsuits alleging cardiovascular risks with testosterone replacement treatments, the first four involve plaintiff claims of heart attack or strokes, and the final four are cases in which plaintiffs allege venous thromboembolism, or blood clots.
Plaintiffs include Jeffrey Konrad, Jessee Mitchell, Edward Cribbs, Cecile Frost, Arthur Myers, Froylan Garcia, Robert Nolte and Robert Rowley. While numerous testosterone treatment manufacturers are named in the multidistrict litigation – such as Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., and Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. – the bellwether cases all involve AbbVie, maker of the top selling testosterone cream AndroGel. There are about 6,000 cases pending in the MDL.
U.S. Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois is overseeing the MDL, scheduled the first bellwether – that of Konrad v. Abbvie – for June 2017.
Testosterone treatments are intended for men with hypogonadism, a condition in which the testes do not produce enough of the male hormone due to disease or defect.
Those suing the testosterone manufacturers claim that the drug companies advertised that their products would allegedly treat a made-up condition called Low T and aggressively promoted it for older men to boost declining levels of testosterone. The complaints allege that the drug companies failed to warn doctors and patients that the hormone treatments could cause heart attacks, strokes or blood clots.