Truvada HIV Class Action Lawsuit
Gilead Sciences Inc., the American biopharmaceutical company behind many antiviral drugs used in treatment of HIV, Hepatitis B & C, and the Influenza vaccine, is under fire for illegal and unethical practices related to their HIV treatment and prevention drug Truvada.
The primary ingredient in Truvada, called tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), is known to cause bone and kidney problems in high doses. This is particularly concerning for a drug that is designed to be taken in high doses in order to be effective.
If you or someone you love has suffered a kidney or bone condition after taking Truvada for HIV, you can turn to Parrish Law Firm. A Truvada lawyer in Virginia may be able to help you collect compensation for the harm you’ve endured. The money you recover could help you pay for medical bills, secure the proper medical treatments, and take care of your family while you try to take back your health.
A Los Angeles Times article reveals that Gilead knew of the health risks their HIV medication posed to users and intentionally withheld the information. As far back as two decades ago, the company not only had the knowledge that TDF could damage a person’s kidneys and deplete their bones of minerals but had begun development on a less dangerous drug.
Now, Gilead is under scrutiny for delaying the release of a safer HIV drug alternative to Truvada. Essentially, the biopharmaceutical giant intentionally delayed the creation of a safer HIV management drug so that it could continue profiting from its multi-billion dollar monopoly on Truvada. Gilead had the research and technology as early as 2000 to create a drug that would be less harmful to Truvada users.
If you’re unsure why Truvada users are rightly angry, here is an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times:
“A company I trusted with my life took advantage of that trust by misrepresenting the side effects,” said Michael Lujano, a Los Angeles County resident who is one of the plaintiffs. “Gilead shelved a far safer drug … simply to increase its long-term profits.” (Los Angeles Times)
If you or a loved one has used Truvada in Virginia, and as a result suffered kidney or bone toxicity or damage, you may be eligible for compensation.
According to lawsuits filed against Gilead, the biopharma giant knew that due to the drug needing to be given in extremely high doses, there was a significant risk of damage to patients’ kidneys and bones, but failed to disclose such information.
Gilead’s scientists found and tested an alternative to Truvada known as TAF and found it to be nearly 1,000-fold more effective than Truvada against HIV, but nixed the project after clinical testing in order to profit from its older, more harmful drug. While the biopharma company killed TAF testing, they filed for patents for the drug for later use once Truvada’s patent ends to continue to monopolize on at-risk HIV users and HIV+ users of the drug.
“By holding on to its research and shelving TAF, Gilead could patent TAF separately and save it for development when their patent and exclusivity on Truvada ran out, in 20 years,” the lawsuit claims.” (Los Angeles Times)
Known Side Effects of Truvada
Truvada is now known to cause a variety of side effects with prolonged usage. People with HIV who have been taking the dangerous drug may experience kidney and bone complications. If you’ve been taking Truvada and notice any problems with your bones or the functionality of your kidneys, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. Kidney complications associated with Truvada include:
- Decreased urination
- Acute kidney injury
- Chronic kidney disease
- Renal failure
- Kidney failure
- Fanconi Syndrome
- Related nephritic injuries
Truvada may cause bone conditions. You may be entitled to recover compensation if you suffered any of these or other bone issues after taking the HIV drug:
- Related orthopedic injuries
Diving Deeper into the Kidney Damage Truvada Can Cause
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), like other viruses, thrives throughout the body by replicating. In order to multiply, HIV uses an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. TDF found in Truvada slows down the production of reverse transcriptase thereby inhibiting the replication of the HIV virus, but only if taken in large quantities.
Our kidneys are designed to remove toxins and drugs from our system. Because of the high dose of drugs in Truvada, our system’s removal of the drug puts extreme strain on our kidneys. Due to the amount of stress Truvada users’ kidneys are put under, many health complications can arise — from kidney failure to lactic acidosis.
When our kidneys are busy removing high doses of drugs such as Truvada, they have a more difficult time removing lactic acid, thus causing severe, often lethal side effects, such as vomiting, nausea, unusual sleepiness, weakness, shallow breathing, diarrhea, and more. These are symptoms of lactic acidosis. Because lactic acid is an acid that interacts with our bloodstream, our blood’s pH levels can rise due to lactic acidosis, causing numerous other health complications.
High doses of TDF are also linked to bone disease. The drug depletes calcium and other minerals from the bones, a process known as demineralization. Without such minerals, our bones become weak, brittle, and prone to fractures and other painful bone conditions.
A Virgina Truvada attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for these highly preventable health problems. The medical and pharmaceutical companies entrusted with the lives of vulnerable people should not be allowed to get away with doing them harm. Claiming to help HIV patients while knowingly afflicting them with other debilitating diseases is inexcusable. A Virgina dangerous drug lawyer on our team will work tirelessly to hold them accountable.
Details About the Lawsuits Against Truvada
The allegations against Gilead Sciences for Truvada are categorized as product liability claims. This area of personal injury law deals with dangerous or defective products that cause harm to consumers.
Product liability cases generally arise from one or more of three types of defects:
- Design Defect- The danger posed by the product is inherent in how the product was designed. A design flaw is a defect that existed before the product was ever physically manufactured.
- Manufacturing Defect -The product was designed correctly but suffered some errors in the construction or production process.
- Marketing Defect- The company failed to provide proper usage instructions or adequate warnings for the risks or dangers of a product.
The claims against Truvada can be seen as both defective design and defective marketing issues for the creation of a drug intended to be taken in high doses which poses a threat to users at high doses and the failure to warn consumers of the risk to their kidneys and bones.
A defective drug lawyer serving Virginia is well-versed in product liability law and how to best pursue justice and compensation in a Truvada lawsuit.
Pending Truvada Lawsuits Against Gilead Sciences Inc
The lawsuits against Gilead are currently spearheaded by LA-based nonprofit The AIDS Healthcare Foundation. One lawsuit is to receive compensation for medical expenses and other damages associated with kidney and bone health problems due to Truvada use. Gilead was aware of the major health side effects of their drug but did not warn Truvada users or doctors prescribing Truvada of the immense health problems that can occur from its regular usage.
Pharmaceutical companies are legally obligated to provide warnings regarding side effects their drugs may have if the pharma company is aware of these side effects, which Gilead, with full knowledge of them, failed to do. This resulted in Truvada users going on the daily-use pill without the ability to make a fully informed medical decision about their health.
Doctors were also unable to perform their duties of keeping their patients healthy and safe due to Gilead’s dishonesty and illegal lack of warning. Instead, Gilead continued to market Truvada as a “risk-free” drug.
Another set of lawsuits claims that Gilead had created a safer alternative to Truvada called TAF, which was being researched and developed even before Truvada was approved by the FDA. Gilead knew that TAF was more effective than Truvada and that TAF was more easily absorbed by the body, making it a less risky alternative; however, to increase their bottom line, they filed a patent for TAF and nixed the project so they could fully benefit from Truvada’s patent before releasing the safer Truvada alternative.
For more than a decade, Gilead has been sitting on the TAF project while Truvada users were suffering from kidney damage, kidney failure, osteoporosis, etc. all so Gilead could pad their bottom line.
Many Truvada victims have suffered significant health problems due to Gilead wanting to make a greater profit and maintain its monopoly. By filing a defective drug claim against Gilead, Truvada victims can recover damages for medical bills, future medical expenses, mental and physical suffering, career repercussions as well as punitive damages.
If you are a victim of Gilead’s actions and have suffered an injury and/or pain from taking Truvada, you should contact a Truvada lawyer in Virginia immediately. The Parrish Law Firm can help you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve from Gilead.