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Who can File Truvada Injury Claims?

Patients and family members of patients who suffered health issues, injuries or death as a result of taking Truvada or other drugs containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) have grounds to file Truvada injury claims against the pharmaceutical manufacturer Gilead Sciences, Inc.

This pharmaceutical is used to treat and prevent the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying in the body and developing into full-blown acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is not a cure for either HIV or AIDS, but Gilead advertises Truvada and other TDF medications like Atripla, Complera, Stribild and Viread as safe, effective treatment for people over the age of 12 with the conditions.

The problem, as our Fort Lauderdale Truvada injury lawyers can explain, is the drug is also highly toxic, particularly when taken in the large doses required for it to be effective. It’s been causally tied to significant damage to the bones and kidneys. Some patients were diagnosed with conditions like osteoporosis, their bones becoming brittle and easily breakable. Others were diagnosed with chronic kidney dysfunction, acute renal failure or conditions like Fanconi’s syndrome and lactic acidosis. Some have had to undergo multiple hip replacement surgeries or go on kidney transplant waiting lists. Some lost their lives.

Patients as young as 35 were diagnosed with conditions like osteoporosis (disease of weakening and brittle bones), a chronic condition typically affecting elderly populations. One 30-year-old patient had to have a double hip replacement.

In addition to Truvada, patients who took other Gilead TDF drugs might have a claim too. These medications include:

  • Atripla
  • Complera
  • Stribild
  • Viread

If you have taken any of these medications and subsequently suffered serious side effects (or had a loved one die of Truvada-related injuries), our product liability lawyers can offer a free consultation to help you determine if you’ve got a case.

What Plaintiffs are Seeking to Recover in Truvada Injury Lawsuits

Filing a Truvada injury lawsuit allows for compensation after one has suffered financial, physical and emotional losses as a result of taking Truvada and other medications like it.

Many claims are predicated on the legal theory of strict liability, which doesn’t require plaintiffs to prove wrongdoing on the drugmaker’s part. However, many plaintiffs do assert wrongdoing by Gilead. Specifically:

  • Defectively designed a medication that was inherently dangerous to consumers.
  • Gilead was aware of the serious health risks posed by taking TDF drugs, and yet in marketing materials tailored to consumers and physicians, downplayed or even concealed those dangers from the public.
  • Intentionally for 15 years suppressed from the market a newer, alternate form of the drug, TAF, so the company could extend the patent life, FDA exclusivity and sales of existing TDF medications.

HIV / AIDS medications account for 70 percent of Gilead’s earnings, according to a 2019 investor report. The company had incentive to halt TAF medication development and release while maximizing profits from ongoing TDF sales from HIV drugs like Truvada.

It may be possible for injured patients to obtain compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Physical pain
  • Mental and emotional suffering
  • Loss of consortium (victim’s family)
  • Wrongful death
Evidence in Truvada Injury Lawsuits

Gilead first released TDF-based HIV treatment drugs in 2001. It was not long after this that both medical studies and clinical trials began to uncover numerous cases of patients suffering bone fractures and kidney problems - some of those potentially fatal.

One study published in March 2002 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases noted a dozen cases of TDF-associated lactic acidosis among AIDS patients taking the drug. It was also noted in a 2004 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that TDF drugs had a low absorption rate, meaning it was required to be given in high doses to be effective. This is what results in strain and damage to the kidneys, while the high toxicity of TDF is what decreases a patient’s bone density.

These are just a few examples that show the company knew these drugs carried a substantial risk of danger. Yet representatives for the company downplayed both the severity and commonality of these risks, calling the drugs “extremely safe” with “no toxicities.” Two marketing representatives for the company even stated at a 2001 medical conference that the black box warning on its first TDF medication was merely a product class warning, and there weren’t actually any problems with the drug. That earned sharp rebuke from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Another similar incident was reported at a national HIV/AIDS conference in 2003, with marketing representatives calling the drug “benign” and again insisting the black box warning was merely a “wait and see warning.” The FDA issued a warning letter demanding the company stop downplaying TDF drug risks and misrepresenting the efficacy of these medications in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

(The company was also chastised for promoting off-label use of TDF drug Viread as a pill that could prevent Hepatitis B.)

Another element in these claims is the market suppression of TAF medications. The company was paying doctors to research this drug way back in 2002. However, its research was kept quiet and even halted for a time, even as the company started buying patents. The results of that early research indicated TAF drugs could be given at lower doses and therefore with fewer side effects. But the company held off on releasing TAF drugs until shortly before the patents (and exclusive rights to sell) TDF medications began to expire. During that time, patients taking TDF continued to get sick and suffer injuries believed to be caused by this medication.

Attorneys for Gilead say the firm had no responsibility to conduct research or release the drug on a faster timetable than it did.

People are pursuing these claims to hold Gilead accountable for these alleged misrepresentations about TDF drugs while shelving the safer TAF alternative for years in order to maximize profits. Our Fort Lauderdale Truvada injury lawyers believe in holding potentially negligent pharmaceutical companies accountable, and we’re committed to fighting for the rights of those injured by dangerous and defective medications.

Contact Florida Truvada injury lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or (954) 761-3641.

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