A product liability suit was filed in Pennsylvania court last week against Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Prostrakan Group PLC over their Fortesta testosterone gel.
In the lawsuit, Demetric Taylor and his wife contend that the use of the testosterone-enhancing gel led to his heart attack, according to Law360. The suit alleges that Fortesta is an unnecessary drug urged on men to treat a disease that does not exist. “Defendants’ advertisements suggest that various symptoms often associated with other conditions may be caused by low testosterone and encourage men to discuss testosterone replacement therapy with their doctors if they experienced any of the ‘symptoms’ of low testosterone,” court documents say. Such “symptoms” include listlessness, increased body fat and moodiness, which “are often a result of aging, weight gain or lifestyle, rather than low testosterone,” the suit says.
In the complaint, Taylor said he and his doctor relied on Endo’s and Prostrakan’s claims that low testosterone was a disease that needed treatment when he chose to use the drug. Taylor said the defendants, though aware of the side effects and risks, failed to disclose these in their marketing, according to Law360.
Medical experts for Consumer Reports magazine warned of testosterone drugs’ risks to men and others in their households. For men, the risks include heart attacks, strokes, breast enlargement, reduced fertility, and, possibly, faster-growing prostate cancer. Gel forms of testosterone, applied to underarms, can be transferred to anyone the man comes into contact with, exposing partners and children to unwanted side effects. Exposed children can experience early puberty and women can develop male characteristics. Pregnant or nursing women can transfer the hormone to their babies, Consumer Reports warns.
Lawsuits have also been filed against Auxilium Pharmaceuticals’ drug Testim and against Abbott Laboratories and AbbeVie’s AndroGel, Law360 reports.