A lawsuit has been filed against Sanofi-Aventis, the maker of the breast cancer drug Taxotere, by 50 plaintiffs who claim that the drug causes permanent hair loss and that the company failed to inform patients and physicians about this side effect.
Taxotere was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 for the treatment of breast cancer but has since been approved for treating other types of cancer, as well. It has been estimated that 75% of the almost three million women in the U.S. with a history of breast cancer were prescribed Taxotere.
In 2013, a National Cancer Research Institute study found that permanent hair loss was a side effect for 10-15% of Taxotere users. Last year, the FDA ordered Sanofi-Aventis to include permanent hair loss in its list of potential side effects resulting from the use of Taxotere.
Despite their different circumstances, the 50 plaintiffs chose to file a joint lawsuit because all of their claims link the use of Taxotere to permanent hair loss. One plaintiff claimed that neither she nor her doctor were aware of the permanent hair loss side effect of Taxotere. The plaintiffs are located in several different states but all have similar claims of permanent chemotherapy hair loss and disfigurement following treatment with Taxotere.
According to the suit, Sanofi-Aventis knew or should have known that Taxotere had the potential to cause permanent hair loss. The suit alleges that the company did not adequately warn about this risk and even concealed the risk from consumers and the medical community by promoting the chemotherapy drug as safe and effective.
The suit alleges design and manufacturing defects, failure to warn, breach of express and implied warranties, fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment and extreme and outrageous conduct/intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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