Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for the treatment of various cancers, including breast cancer. Unfortunately, as many women have discovered, the manufacturer of Taxotere failed to disclose that its use can result in permanent, lifelong hair loss for women. In fact, the manufacturer of Taxotere, Sanofi-Aventis, may have concealed research linking Taxotere to this side effect.
In 2013, the National Cancer Research Institute concluded that permanent hair loss, or alopecia, was a side effect for around 10-15% of patients treated with Taxotere or its generic equivalent, Docetaxel. Subsequently, in January 2016, the FDA mandated that Taxotere’s label be revised to include a warning about permanent alopecia.
Despite knowing that the use of Taxotere can result in permanent alopecia, Sanofi-Aventis attempted to increase its use as a chemotherapy treatment by claiming that Taxotere is more effective than other chemotherapy drugs on the market—a claim that the FDA has publicly disputed.