Days before the a lead attorney in the first bellwether trial alleging cardiovascular risks with the testosterone replacement therapy AndroGel fell ill, resulting in a mistrial, a cardiologist who teaches at Northwestern University testified that he believes testosterone treatments increase the risk of heart attacks in older men, Law360 reported.
Dr. Hossein Ardehali appeared as an expert witness in the case of Jeffrey Konrad, a Tennessee man who says he was lured by aggressive advertising by AbbVie and other testosterone treatment manufacturers to try the medication to treat symptoms of so-called Low T, a condition allegedly fabricated by manufacturers of the male hormone treatments.
Shortly after starting treatment with AndroGel, Konrad suffered a heart attack. His lawsuit claims that AbbVie and other testosterone treatment manufacturers knew that testosterone therapy could increase the risk of heart attacks, blood clots, strokes and death. Yet, the companies failed to warn doctors or their patients of this risk. Instead, the drug companies aggressively marketed the products directly to consumers, resulting in skyrocketing sales.
Dr. Ardehali told the jury that testosterone naturally drops as men age. An older man who takes a testosterone booster puts himself at risk of testosterone side effects. “This is a normal aging process and there’s no treatment for aging,” he told jurors. “Humans were not created to live only in their 30s.”
Konrad’s case is the first among about 4,200 lawsuits pending in the Northern District of Illinois to go to trial. This week, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly ordered a mistrial in Konrad’s case after the plaintiff’s lead counsel became ill and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend. Konrad’s trial was rescheduled for September.