AbbVie Inc., prevailed in the latest bellwether trial accusing the company’s testosterone treatment AndroGel of causing heart attacks, strokes and blood clots, but AbbVie and other testosterone manufacturers still face thousands more lawsuits consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
This is the third of five bellwether trials that have been won by testosterone makers. The other two have resulted in a total of $143 million in verdicts for the plaintiffs.
The latest trial involved the case of Rober Rowley who was prescribed AndroGel in 2012 to treat fatigue. Years earlier, he had a testicle removed. When blood tests revealed low testosterone levels, his doctor prescribed AndroGel. Rowley claims that in 2013, he suffered a type of blood clot called a deep vein thrombosis. He stopped taking AndroGel and three years later suffered another deep vein thrombosis in the same spot. Because of this, he must remain on anticoagulant therapy for the rest of his life.
Rowley alleged that AbbVie knew its testosterone therapy could cause cardiovascular risks like heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolisms and blood clots, but failed to warn doctors or their patients of these risks.
AbbVie and only one other company – Auxilium Pharmaceuticals LLC – have faced bellwether trials in the multidistrict litigation. Auxilium, Eli Lilly & Co., Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline have reached tentative settlements with plaintiffs in the MDL who claimed to have suffered cardiovascular injuries from their testosterone replacement therapies.