Studies cited in a doctor’s report involving alleged cardiovascular events in men who underwent testosterone replacement therapy are fair game and are admissible in court, said an Illinois federal judge overseeing a multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving testosterone gel AndroGel maker AbbVie Inc.
The drug company had asked U.S. District Judge Michael Kennelly to trim Dr. B. Bud Gerstman’s report to the agreed-upon scientific articles pertaining to testosterone treatments and heart health. Gerstman, a professor at San Jose State University, wrote the original report for the plaintiffs’ steering committee in October followed by a rebuttal report that included more information. Judge Kennelly wrote, “The studies addressed in the report are properly part of a rebuttal report.”
The growing number of lawsuits in the multidistrict litigation claim that makers of testosterone treatments invented a disease, which they coined “Low T,” and used fraudulent and aggressive marketing campaigns to push testosterone replacement therapy directly to consumers for off-label uses despite knowing – and withholding –information that use of the hormones could increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and life threatening blood clots.
More than 5,500 lawsuits are pending in the multidistrict litigation against testosterone manufacturers. As the producer of the top-selling brand AndroGel, AbbVie will stand trial in the first eight bellwether cases in the MDL. The first trial is scheduled for June 2017.