Langdon & Emison is accepting cases nationwide on behalf of breast cancer survivors who are suffering from permanent hair loss after being treated with Taxotere.
This drug, also known as docetaxel, is a chemotherapy drug approved to treat breast cancer. Taxotere is used to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing; however, thousands of women have been harmed by this drug because it causes permanent and disfiguring hair loss.
Lawsuits are being filed across the country against Taxotere manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, for failing to warn U.S. doctors and patients about the risks of permanent hair loss associated with Taxotere treatment. Despite knowing about the risk of permanent, disfiguring hair loss, Sanofi provided no such warning on the drug’s label from 1999 through December 2015.
Early evidence shows that Sanofi misrepresented the effectiveness of Taxotere and hid problems about permanent hair loss to increase its market share and profits. Lawsuits allege Sanofi-Aventis lied to American doctors and patients in order to gain market share. In 2014, the pharmaceutical giant reported revenues of $36.5 billion.
Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996 to treat breast cancer. It is widely prescribed to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. Of the approximately 2.8 million women diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S., it is estimated that 75 percent were treated with Taxotere as part of their chemotherapy regimen.
Taxotere is one of two major chemotherapy drugs used in the U.S. The other drug, Taxol, is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
What is the problem with Taxotere?
Taxotere has been linked to permanent hair loss in breast cancer patients who have been treated with the drug. In the 1960s Sanofi developed an alternative to Taxol and claimed it increased the potency of the drug, thereby making it more effective; however, the FDA initially said the drug was too toxic and would not approve it. Sanofi went back to the drawing board, changed its marketing and later the drug was approved.
Research has repeatedly linked permanent hair loss to Taxotere. In 2005, Sanofi told the European Medicines Agency (the equivalent of the FDA) that it found permanent hair loss in 9.2 percent of Taxotere patients. This was Sanofi’s own study. A 2013 study published by the National Cancer Institute found permanent hair loss as a side effect in 10-15 percent of patients who took Taxotere.
Multiple studies also suggest that Taxotere is no more effective than alternative chemotherapy treatments, such as Taxol, that do not cause permanent hair loss. Bottom line: Taxotere and Taxol are effective drugs, but there is one major difference. Taxotere causes permanent, disfiguring hair loss, Taxol does not.