Some drugs hit the market with a huge impact, forever changing the way a condition is managed.
Truvada worked so well to prevent the transmission of HIV that the World Health Organization labeled it one of the world’s essential medications. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken the drug since its approval in the United States in 2004.
Then why are so many people suing Gilead, the maker of Truvada?
According to their lawsuits, dozens of patients have suffered bone and kidney damage from one of the main ingredients of Truvada – tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, or TDF.
The lawsuits claim that Gilead knew of these risks but failed to warn patients in the U.S. And even worse, Gilead hid a safer drug from the market for the sake of profit.
What can you do if you or a loved one has been affected?
First – see a doctor about your medical condition. Then talk to someone about your rights. You shouldn’t have to fight this battle alone.
Is Truvada PrEP Bad for Your Health?
Truvada protects people from contracting HIV by making the virus more difficult to pass from person to person. This prevention method is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). TDF is also sold by Gilead under the brand name Viread.
Truvada and TDF have been game-changers in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This class of medicine is usually prescribed for two types of patients:
- People who are not infected with HIV but are at high risk of infection
- In combination with other drugs for patients already infected with HIV, including NRTIs such as Ziagen, Emtriva, and Epivir
TDF can also be found in Gilead’s all-in-one therapies Atripla, Complera, and Stribild.
What Are the Side Effects of Truvada/TDF?
The most common side effects of Truvada for PrEP include:
- Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss
- Headaches, dizziness, tiredness, depression
- Problems sleeping and abnormal dreams
But Truvada has serious side effects too, like:
- Kidney problems including kidney failure
- Bone density loss and bone fractures
- Lactic acidosis, when too much lactic acid builds up in the blood
These side effects could lead to major complications, including liver problems and even death.
You need to be aware of the risks to your health, especially when the stakes are so high. If you don’t know what you’re getting into, you can’t protect yourself.
Can You Sue a Drug Company for Side Effects?
Personal injury lawsuits exist to “make you whole” in the eyes of the law. In many cases, this means financial compensation.
Naturally, whoever caused your injury should pay for the expenses you suffer as a result. Medical treatment can be expensive and may not be covered by your insurance. You may have lost work or wages because of your illness.
Personal injury judgments can also function to punish the party who harmed you. Sometimes courts will award millions of dollars in damages if they find that the defendant acted intentionally, maliciously, recklessly, or in a grossly negligent way.
Punitive damages are often much higher than the actual financial harm you may have suffered. The idea is to discourage companies from this type of dangerous behavior.
Gilead Truvada Lawsuit Claims
In April 2018, over 40 patients from 12 different states filed personal injury claims against Gilead in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles. These plaintiffs suffered bone and kidney damage because they took TDF.
They accuse the company of:
- Manufacturing a defective product
- Failing to warn patients about the drug’s risks
- Fraud for concealing the risks and a safer alternative
According to the claims filed in court, Gilead:
- Knew the dangerous side effects of TDF as early as 2001
- Included warnings for the same drugs in Europe but not in the U.S.
- Stopped a safer alternative from entering the market in order to maximize profits
Gilead made over $18 billion in profit in 2015. Considering the number of people who could be affected, these cases may be just the tip of the iceberg.
TAF: The Alternative to Truvada
The lawsuit claims that Gilead had a safer formula in their lab for over fifteen years, called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF).
Multiple studies have found that TAF is as effective as TDF in preventing HIV. Even better – TAF doesn’t carry the same risks of bone and kidney damage. The results were especially promising for long-term patients who have taken the treatments for decades.
The fraud claim states that Gilead abandoned TAF in 2004 in order to make more money selling Truvada/TDF. All while knowing the health risks and safety benefits.
If that’s true – that’s quite the claim for malicious intent, recklessness, or gross negligence. And it looks like there’s evidence to back up these assertions.
Our court system is in place to protect individuals from the effects of corporate greed. Yet it’s important to have a strong, experienced advocate on your side to work through that system. That’s where we come in.
Talking to a Local Personal Injury Attorney
People have filed two types of lawsuits against Gilead – personal injury and a California consumer class action. Personal injury claims are individual cases of harm. A class action combines cases of an entire group of people who have suffered a similar type of harm. A mass tort groups people together if they’ve suffered different harms but all from the same defective or dangerous pharmaceutical product.
If you’ve taken Truvada or TDF at any point, you could be eligible for either a personal injury or a class action lawsuit against Gilead.
But where do you begin? How do you navigate the legal world when you’re busy dealing with your health?
First of all, you need someone to listen. That could be anyone – your family or friends. But you also need someone who can fight for your rights. That’s where a good lawyer comes in. At Harlan Law, we treat you like family and help you become whole again, whether you’re in San Diego, Los Angeles, elsewhere in Southern California, or across the country.
We know what you’re going through, and we’re here to support you through the process. Our job is to make sure you get the best possible outcome for you.
Act now – your health is on the line. Call Jordon Harlan at (619) 870-0802 and let’s talk.