AndroGel maker AbbVie Inc. has reached a tentative agreement to settle about 6,000 lawsuits pending in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) alleging its testosterone replacement therapy causes heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.
All cases against AbbVie and its subsidiaries Abbott Laboratories, Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Unimed Pharmaceuticals LLC, have been stayed per an order by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly as the companies work toward finalizing a global settlement.
The multidistrict litigation was centralized in the Northern District of Illinois in 2014 against several testosterone manufacturers, over claims that the companies hid cardiovascular side effects from consumers.
Beginning in July 2017, several bellwether cases were tried, the first of which was against AbbVie and resulted in a no compensatory damages but $150 million in punitive damages. A retrial was ordered after Judge Kennelly found the verdict “logically incompatible” with the jury’s findings. The retrial resulted in a $3 million verdict.
The second bellwether trial against AbbVie resulted in a $140 million verdict, which was later tossed on similar grounds of being incompatible with the evidence presented.
Auxilium was only other company to face trial in the MDL before reaching a settlement agreement with all remaining cases against it.
In December 2017, Eli Lilly reached a tentative settlement agreement for more than 400 cases involving its testosterone treatment Axiron. In February, Endo International, Auxilium, and GlaxoSmithKline announced a tentative deal to resolve about 500 cases they faced over their products.