Truvada Lawsuit Damages
The maker of popular HIV / AIDS pharmaceuticals is facing a rising flood of litigation over claims that it misrepresented the serious health risks of its drugs to doctors and patients and further shelved a newer, less harmful alternative for more than a decade to maximize profits on the older medications.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is the manufacturer of some of the first nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) that block an HIV enzyme, preventing the virus from replicating and evolving into full-blown AIDS. These medications, containing a compound called Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (TDF), include:
TDF is highly toxic, especially when taken in the large doses required to be effective. It is associated with devastating bone weakening and fractures as well as serious kidney illnesses. Some have been diagnosed with conditions like osteoporosis, chronic and acute renal illnesses and lactic acidosis (which can be fatal). Treatments have included multiple surgeries (including hip replacements), hospitalization, dialysis and additional medications.
Patients who have suffered serious side effects while taking Truvada or other TDF drugs may have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit or join class action litigation to pursue compensation for their losses. Family members of those who have died as a result of TDF-related complications may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim.Types of Damages in Truvada Injury Lawsuits
As our Fort Lauderdale Truvada injury lawyers can explain, plaintiffs who succeed in securing a settlement or who prevail at trial may be awarded three types of damages:
- Compensatory. These damages are the most concrete and easily calculated damages. Sometimes referred to as “special damages” or “actual damages,” they encompass out-of-pocket expenses. Compensatory damages in a Truvada injury lawsuit might include compensation for things like medical expenses, lost wages, household expenses, costs of future medical care, costs associated with travel to medical appointments and loss of income-earning potential.
- General Damages. These are sought in conjunction with compensatory damages, but they tend to be less specific, their determination more ambiguous. General damages can be awarded for things like physical pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, reduced quality of life or loss of companionship/consortium (paid to spouses or other close family members).
- Punitive Damages. Sometimes referred to as “exemplary damages,” punitive damages are those that exceed simple compensation and are awarded to punish the defendant for egregious conduct or to reform/deter the defendant or others from engaging in such conduct again.
It should be noted that in Florida per F.S. 768.72, punitive damages are only awarded if allowed to pursue them by a judge after establishing by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant had actual knowledge the conduct was wrong and carried a high probability of causing injury or damage OR engaged in conduct so wanton or reckless that it amounted to a conscious disregard for the life and safety of others.
Based on what is known and alleged in the Truvada injury lawsuits filed so far, it seems there is a compelling case for Gilead to pay punitive damages on top of compensatory and general damages.Allegations Against Gilead Sciences in Truvada Injury Lawsuits
The fact that Viread, Truvada and other TDF drugs produced by Gilead Sciences have the potential to cause serious bone and liver injuries is well-established. Black box warnings on the drug indicate this.
However, there is evidence the company repeatedly downplayed these risks. Twice, the company received warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after representatives at a health conference referred to the drug as a “miracle,” “extremely safe,” “benign” and with “no toxicities.” Two representatives even dismissed the seriousness of the black boxed warning label on Viread as being nothing more than a “wait-and-see-warning,” meaning it was issued out of an abundance of caution rather than facts proven in peer-reviewed research.
All the while, plaintiffs allege Gilead had a safer alternative, Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF), tucked away in its laboratory. TAF medications, which can be effective at lower doses, were created more than a decade before Gilead released them. In the meantime, Gilead was able to cash in on its exclusive rights to the sale of TDF drugs, which comprise an estimated 70 percent of the company’s revenues. It was only once TDF drug patents began to expire that Gilead began unveiling the safer TAF medications for HIV patients.
Defense lawyers for the company have denied the allegations, but insist the corporation was under no obligation to hurry its TAF drug to the market.
If you have been injured as a result of taking Truvada or other TDF drugs made by Gilead, our Fort Lauderdale product liability attorneys can help you ascertain whether you’ve got a case.
Contact Florida Truvada injury lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (888) ANSARA-8.