The first two cases to go to trial in a multidsitrict litigation (MDL) accusing manufacturers of testosterone replacement therapies of not adequately warning about cardiovascular risks and misrepresenting the drug’s uses has resulted in two verdicts totaling $300 million for plaintiffs.
The latest verdict of was handed down in federal court in Chicago in favor of plaintiff Jeffrey Konrad and his wife. Mr. Konrad , 56, started using AndroGel for two months in 2010 when he suffered a heart attack, which caused other health issues. He filed a lawsuit in 2015 against AndroGel manufacturer AbbVie. The jury awarded Konrad $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages.
The verdict in the Konrad case came less than two weeks after the first trial ended. The jury in that case did not find AndroGel was the cause of plaintiff Jesse Mitchell’s heart attack, but did take issue with AbbVie’s marketing of its testosterone replacement therapy, slapping the drug company with $150 million in punitive damages.
AndroGel is one of the top selling testosterone replacement products on the market, generating sales of $675 million in 2016 alone.
Both lawsuits accused AbbVie of marketing AndroGel as a treatment for a made-up condition called Low T, and telling consumers that AndroGel could treat symptoms of Low T such as low libido, muscle loss and weight gain. Testosterone replacement therapies are only intended for men who do not produce enough testosterone due to injury, disease or defect. They are not approved to treat age-related drops in testosterone.
Recent studies have linked the use of testosterone replacement therapy to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and death.