Kathleen Stajduhar knew in 2010 that the chemotherapy she was receiving to treat breast cancer might cause “temporary” hair loss. What she didn’t expect was for her hair never to grow back.
Following treatment with the drug Taxotere, Stajduhar was diagnosed with alopecia, or complete and permanent hair loss. Attempts to remedy the condition proved expensive and unsuccessful.
In July 2016 – six years after going bald – Stajduhar saw a television commercial notifying her that Taxotere had been linked to cases of permanent hair loss, that the company failed to warn consumers of this risk, and that patients who suffered this ill effect may have a case against the manufacturer.
Furthermore, she learned that Sanofi-Aventis, maker of Taxotere, knew that the drug could cause permanent hair loss and even warned patients in other countries of this potential side effect. But it wasn’t until 2015 – five years after Stajduhar was treated with the drug – that the company added the potential side effect of alopecia to the safety label of Taxotere sold in the U.S.
On Jan. 16, 2018, Stajduhar filed a lawsuit in the Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Court of Common Pleas, accusing Sanofi of failure to warn.
Taxotere, known chemically as docetaxel, is used to treat breast, lung, prostate, stomach, and head and neck cancer. At least 2,300 people in the U.S. are suing Sanofi for failing to warn of the Taxotere side effect of permanent hair loss. Several cases are consolidated into a multidistrict litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Source: Pennsylvania Record