- Having manufactured a dangerous drug;
- Selling Taxotere without properly testing it;
- Selling Taxotere without disclosing its damaging risks;
- Failing to determine whether Taxotere was safe;
- Failing to properly warn patients and health care providers about Taxotere’s damaging effects;
- Misleading the public in advertising and marketing Taxotere;
- Concealing information from the public; and,
- Downplaying the dangers associated with Taxotere.
The list above itemizes the several legal actions claimed in lawsuits filed against Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturers of the popular intravenous chemotherapy drug Taxotere.
Taxotere (Generic name: Docetaxel) is an intravenous chemotherapy drug that is acknowledged as capable of improving life expectancy and overall life quality. It is manufactured and marketed by Sanofi-Aventis and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996 for breast cancer treatment. It has also been approved for the treatment of a variety of cancers including non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, and head and neck cancer.
The main difference Taxotere has with other chemotherapy drugs, including those in its own class (class of chemotherapy drugs called plant alkaloids), like Paclitaxel, which is said to be as effective as Taxotere, is its damaging effect: permanent alopecia or permanent hair loss (a significant number of women, though, complained of alopecia universalis or total hair loss on the scalp and body (this means loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, and hair growth under arms and around the genital area).
According to the law firm Williams Kherkher, Sanofi-Aventis knew about this side-effect as early as the 1990s through a study. In 2005, patients outside of the U.S. were warned about this side effect; however, patients in the U.S. were warned of this only in December of 2015, after the (FDA) mandated them to do so.
Permanent hair loss consistently appeared in various studies as one of the most stressful side effects of cancer treatment. It has profoundly impacted affected patients’ well-being and quality of life – a serious damaging condition Sanofi-Aventis will have to answer for.