Axiron Plaintiff Blames Testosterone Drug for Heart Attack

Published on October 1, 2014 by Sandy Liebhard

A testosterone lawsuit has been filed by a New Jersey man who suffered a heart attack just a month after beginning treatment with Axiron, a hormone-raising therapy.

The New Jersey Law Journal reports that the plaintiff, who resides in Hopatcong, began taking the medication in September 2012, at the age of 54. The man suffered a heart attack a month later, on Oct. 3, which could have been avoided if he had been adequately warned by doctors about Axiron’s association with serious and life-threatening heart problems, his testosterone lawsuit alleges. The complaint was recently filed in Newark federal court, according to an article on September 30, and blames Eli Lilly for failing to disclose dangers that may be associated with the medication. The complaint accuses the manufacturer of engaging in a “disease awareness campaign” to convince men that Axiron should be prescribed to treat low libido, fatigue, and other common signs of aging.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved these medications to treat hypogonadism, a condition categorized by abnormally-low levels of the hormone in conjunction with an injury or disease.

“In essence, the defendant marketed and sold testosterone as a lifestyle drug meant to make men feel younger and increase libido,” the Axiron lawsuit alleges.

The New Jersey Law Journal reports that Lilly earned $178 million in Axiron sales in 2013, after spending $122 million to promote the drug. 70 percent of that was spent on direct to consumer advertising, according to the article.

Axiron Lawsuits Centralized in Illinois Federal Court

Claims included in this Axiron lawsuit are similar to dozens of others now centralized in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. There, a federal litigation includes more than 200 testosterone cases over AndroGel, Testim, AndroDerm and other drugs including Axiron. All of these lawsuits were filed after an FDA warning in January 2014 that warned men about the possible link between testosterone drugs and the risk for heart attacks, blood clots, strokes and other serious heart problems.

At the time, the FDA said evidence of this risk had not been conclusive, but that its investigation was ongoing.

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