A growing number of plaintiffs are fighting to hold pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. accountable for damages resulting from the potentially dangerous drug Truvada. Attorney Ben Crump has set his sights on these settlements and stands ready to fight for compensation on behalf of people who suffered injuries after taking Truvada HIV medication.
Truvada Lawsuits and Settlements
Like any pharmaceutical company, Gilead is duty-bound to warn consumers about any health risks connected with their drugs. In the case of Truvada, the company violated this duty because they prioritized profits over patients’ health and safety. According to Gilead Sciences Inc.’s fourth quarter and full year financial results, the company made almost $17 million off its HIV products in 2020, marking a three percent increase from the previous years’ sales.
Lawsuits in Progress
Patients who have suffered injury from Truvada demand that Truvada dip into those profits and compensate the injured for damages resulting from their injuries. Forty plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Gilead in 2019 seeking compensation for permanent kidney and bone damage patients suffered after using the company’s TDF tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) drugs.
According to Bloomberg, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) filed a lawsuit against Gilead in 2019, calling on the pharmaceutical company to establish a $10 billion fund for those who have been harmed by Gilead’s TDF-based drugs. The suit alleges that the company suppressed a safer version of its drug – tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) – which was far less toxic – so it could maximize profits, lengthen the sales life cycle of TDF pharmaceutical products, and further benefit from a monopoly on the drugs.
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Legal Basis for Lawsuits
As explained in the AIDS Healthcare Foundation lawsuit against Gilead (May 2018), the pharma company, which put the drug on the market in 2004, must have known or should have known that the medication – and other drugs made with TDF – was “highly toxic in the doses prescribed and risked permanent and possibly fatal damage to the kidneys and bones.”
Rather than alerting the public of this toxicity, Gilead turned a blind eye to the risks of their product. Worse still, the company mispresented these risks. This misrepresentation persisted, despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s admonishing the company for its claims that TDF was not toxic and posed no danger to kidneys and bones.
The Truvada website boasts that “One daily pill can help prevent HIV.” The prescription medicine Truvada for PrEP ® (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is designed for individuals who are at risk of HIV. The website states that Truvada decreases the likelihood of contracting HIV through sexual activity, provided the user is HIV negative prior to and while taking the drug.
Dangerous Side Effects of Truvada
The site also details various serious side effects of taking Truvada, including the following:
- Worsening of hepatitis B infection if you have the infection and stop taking Truvada
- Kidney problems/ kidney failure (consider having your blood and urine tested during treatment to detect any potential problems while taking Truvada)
- Lactic acidosis (an excess amount of lactic acid in your blood), which can prove fatal (symptoms include weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, stomach pain with vomiting, blue feet and hands, dizziness, abnormal heartbeat, muscle pain)
- Severe and sometimes fatal liver problems (symptoms include yellowing of the skin or the white of your eyes, stools that are light in color, dark urine, prolonged loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea)
- Bone pain, density loss, and softening or thinning, which can facilitate fractures (consider having your doctor conduct tests to check your bones while you are taking Truvada)
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
If you develop any of the above side effects, discuss them immediately with your healthcare provider.
What You Should Know About Truvada Lawsuits
If you believe you have suffered injury from taking Truvada, the first thing to know is that you are not in this alone. Many others have suffered, and hundreds of them are fighting to hold the drug manufacturer liable for damages. An attorney from our firm can inform you about your legal options for seeking damages.
You Have a Limited Amount of Time to Act
You should also remain vigilant about time. From state to state, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit varies. Your state of residence might give you as little as two years or as many as five years in which to take legal action against Gilead.
You May Recover Economic and Non-Economic Damages
To date, no Truvada lawsuits have been settled. However, in September 2020, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that Gilead had agreed to pay $97 million to resolve claims that the company had violated the False Claims Act in relation to its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug Letairis. Although Truvada claims will likely take time to work their way through the judicial system, plaintiffs may win a wide range of types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost income (past and future)
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and anguish
- Mental distress
- Diminished quality of life
This list represents just a handful of the types of damages that successful plaintiffs might win in a settlement for their Truvada-caused injuries.
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Attorney Ben Crump Will Fight for Your Truvada Settlement
Many people feel intimidated by the prospect of taking on a large pharma company. Do not let a sense of hopelessness stop you from pursuing compensation for the injuries this pharmaceutical company has caused you.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 983-6116 for a free consultation with a member of our team.