AbbVie Inc. is a pharmaceutical company based in Chicago that uses a research-driven
approach to create, manufacture, and market drugs to consumers. One particular
drug, known as AndroGel, is a testosterone replacement therapy drug that
is the subject of multiple lawsuits. Plaintiffs across the nation are
claiming that AndroGel causes heart attacks, strokes, and other serious
conditions, and that AbbVie has failed to provide adequate warnings about
the risks of its product.
In 2015, a Tennessee resident and his wife filed a lawsuit against AbbVie
for misrepresenting AndroGel. The man had used the product for only 2
months before he suffered a heart attack. While AbbVie argued that the
man’s heart attack was caused by other factors, the court ordered
the company to pay $140 million in punitive damages for fraudulent misrepresentation
of the drug, as well as $140,000 to the plaintiff for compensation.
Other Court Verdicts Against the Company
Another lawsuit against AbbVie for its marketing strategies of AndroGel
was heard before a federal jury. The court found the company guilty of
fraudulently misrepresenting AndroGel’s health risks, and ordered
it to pay $150 million in punitive damages. Pharmaceutical companies have
a responsibility to provide adequate, clear warnings of the risks of using
their products. When they downplay the risks or fail to warn consumers,
they must be held responsible for any injuries that occur because of their products.
Because of the heart attacks and strokes occurring in users of testosterone
replacement therapy, the FDA required AbbVie to include a warning about
cardiovascular risks on the label of AndroGel, beginning in May of 2015.
AbbVie says it will appeal the court’s decision regarding the settlement.
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