A Testim lawsuit scheduled to go to trial next Monday in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has been settled for an undisclosed amount.
The case was filed on behalf of an Alabama man who allegedly suffered a testosterone-induced stroke in July 2012, less than a year after he began using Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Testim gel.
Among other things, the Plaintiff accused the company of marketing an unreasonably dangerous product and charged that sales of Testim were driven by misleading marketing that characterized low testosterone levels normally experienced by aging men as an “epidemic” and a “syndrome” called “Low-T”.
Auxilium is named a defendant in more than 1,200 similar Testim lawsuits currently pending in state and federal courts around the country. The Pennsylvania settlement was announced yesterday in Philadelphia.
The company won its first testosterone trial in November, after a federal jury in Chicago found that Testim was not responsible for the heart attack experienced by a Tennessee man.
Prescription testosterone medications such as Axiron, AndroGel and Testim are only approved to treat hypogonadism, or low testosterone secondary to an injury or medical condition. They have not been proven safe and effective for men who experience decreasing testosterone levels merely due to aging.
In March 2015, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered testosterone manufacturers to update their product labels with information regarding an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. In June of that year, the labels were updated to include a general warning regarding a risk of venous thromboembolism, venous blood clots that include deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Court documents indicate that more than 6,200 testosterone lawsuits are currently undergoing coordinated pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. All of the cases were filed on behalf of men who suffered heart attacks, blood clots, and other cardiovascular complications allegedly related to their use of Axiron, AndroGel, Testim, and other prescription testosterone treatments.
To date, the federal litigation has completed trials of two AndroGel lawsuits. In July, the first jury declined to award the plaintiff any compensatory damages. But in an unusual development, they awarded him $150 million in punitive damages, after finding that AbbVie, Inc. had engaged in false advertising when it marketed AndroGel. However, the judge on the case recently ordered a new trial after finding the jury’s decision conflicting and inconsistent.
The second AndroGel lawsuit concluded in October, with the jury ordering AbbVie to pay the plaintiff $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages.
Late last month, Eli Lilly & Co., announced it has reached a global settlement in all testosterone lawsuits involving its Axiron product. Details of the Axiron testosterone settlement have not been disclosed.