Thailand-based Besins Healthcare SA, which manufactures the topical testosterone treatment AndroGel outside the United States, was released from a multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving several manufacturers of testosterone replacement therapies. Besins licensed exclusive right to market and distribute AndroGel in the U.S. to AbbVie.
U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly dismissed all remaining claims against Besins after finding that plaintiffs did not allege that the company had a responsibility to conduct safety tests of AndroGel in the U.S.
AbbVie and other testosterone makers are facing about 6,500 of claims in a multidistrict litigation centralized in the Northern District of Illinois. Most of the cases name AbbVie’s top-selling testosterone replacement therapy AndroGel. Plaintiffs claim the drugmakers aggressively marketed the hormone treatment to men as a “fountain of youth,” without warning that use of their products could put them at increased risk for cardiovascular events like heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.
Besins sought dismissal from the MDL on the grounds that plaintiffs did not provide evidence that AndroGel was defectively designed or manufactured.
Cases in the testosterone MDL are gradually being resolved. In December 2017, Eli Lilly reached a tentative settlement agreement for more than 400 cases involving its testosterone treatment Axiron. In February 2018, Endo International, Auxilium and GlaxoSmithKline reached a tentative settlement in about 500 cases they faced with their testosterone treatments. At least two testosterone lawsuits that have gone to trials have resulted in multi-million-dollar verdicts for the plaintiffs.