Drug maker AbbVie Inc., embroiled in lawsuits alleging its testosterone replacement therapy AndroGel caused heart attacks, strokes and blood clots, told an Illinois federal judge that allowing plaintiffs access to documents belonging to a doctor employed by the company was beyond what was proper in the multidistrict litigation (MDL).
The plaintiffs steering committee (PSC) asked U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly to compel AbbVie to produce the documents of Dr. Adrian Dobbs, an endocrinologist and professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who plaintiffs consider a “key opinion leader” with the drug company because she was paid to persuade other doctors to prescribe testosterone replacement therapy.
AbbVie argued that those suing the drug company got the facts they needed when Dobs was deposed on Feb. 2., during which she disclosed how much she profited from her promotion of testosterone treatment and AndroGel.
The multi district litigation targeting AbbVie and other manufacturers of testosterone placement products claims that the drug companies “invented” the disease “Low T” and used aggressive marketing campaigns to sell testosterone therapy for off-label uses despite knowing that use could cause life-threatening adverse cardiovascular events, which the drug companies failed to adequately warn consumers about.
More than 5,500 lawsuits are pending in the multidistrict litigation. 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.