Experienced Dangerous Drugs Attorneys Serving Sacramento
Tenofovir disporxil fumarate (TDF) is an anti-viral drug that is commonly prescribed to improve the quality and length of life for people with HIV. However, it has been reported that the drug causes kidney disease and bone injuries. TDF contains the enzyme tenofovir, which stops HIV from multiplying. But clinical trials revealed the specific composition and use of TDF drugs is associated with gradual loss of kidney function and diminished bone mineral density.
Gilead Sciences has five TDF drugs on the market:
Current lawsuits against Gilead allege the company purposefully withheld safer versions of its anti-viral drug and deceptively marketed the TDF based drugs as “miracle drugs” with no toxicities.
Gilead first developed and released Viread, an HIV treatment drug, in 2001. That same year, Gilead began to develop tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (“TAF”) to try to minimize the adverse effects of TDF.
John Milligan, Gilead’s former President and Chief Executive Officer, called TAF the “kinder, gentler version of Viread” because it can be given at a dramatically lower dose than TDF while being just as effective.
In developing its subsequent anti-viral drugs, Gilead had a choice to use TDF or to use TAF, the safer design for delivering the active ingredient tenofovir into the body. Gilead chose to continue to use TDF despite its known adverse effects in patients. Milligan later admitted that the real reason Gilead withheld the safer TAF design was because it did not want to hurt TDF sales by admitting that TDF was not the “miracle drug” Gilead claimed it was.
FDA Cracks Down on Gilead
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has twice reprimanded Gilead for unlawfully minimizing the risks of TDF. Yet, Gilead continues to downplay the risks of TDF by:
- Misrepresenting the drugs as safe
- Dismissing TDF associated adverse events as purportedly unavoidable side effects of tenofovir
- Discouraging doctors from monitoring patients by using more sensitive markers of kidney function
Moreover, Gilead’s misleading statements to doctors have further undermined the inadequate warnings of TDF adverse effects in drug labels. Current lawsuits allege that if Gilead had given adequate warnings and monitoring instructions, doctors would have heeded them and detected TDF toxicity earlier through better, more frequent monitoring, and thereby preventing or lessening patients’ injuries.
What Are the Dangers of TDF?
People taking any TDF drug should be advised of its serious health risks. In recent clinical trials, researchers have found higher rates of declining kidney function and bone mineral density in patients after 1 -2 years use of TDF.
Common symptoms of kidney disease include:
- Loss of appetite
- Poor concentration
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Itchy skin
- The need to urinate frequently
- High blood pressure
Common symptoms for declining bone mineral density include:
- Back pain
- Stooped posture
- Loss of height
- Bone fractures from minor stress or falls
Other TDF side effects allegedly include liver problems and lactic acidosis, a condition that causes lactic acid to build up in the body, resulting in low pH levels.
Consult with Our Skilled Legal Team Today
If you want to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the merits of a potential claim against Gilead Sciences, you should seek advice from one of our experienced lawyers at Kershaw, Cook & Talley. Our legal team boasts more than a century’s worth of collective legal experience litigating personal injury matters, including issues involving dangerous products like TDF anti-viral drugs. With us, you can expect to have a devoted advocate who can skillfully read the legal landscape to help you find an effective path to secure the justice you deserve.
Call us at (916) 520-6639 to learn more about how our law firm can assist you. Schedule your free initial consultation today.