What is Taxotere?
Taxotere (docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of breast cancer. Alopecia, more commonly known as hair loss, is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Alopecia, however, is supposed to be temporary. Instead, many breast cancer survivors have found themselves unable to successfully regrow hair. These survivors received no warning that this could happen. Had they been told, they likely would have opted for other chemotherapy drugs that are just as effective in fighting cancer and do not carry the same risk for permanent hair loss, such as Taxol.
Although the drug manufacturers should have known about the permanent alopecia side effect from multiple drug studies, nothing was done to warn consumers until late last year. In December 2015, the FDA required the manufacturers of Taxotere to update the warning label to include permanent alopecia as a side effect.
What are the potential injuries?
Permanent alopecia occurs when hair fails to regrow, either fully or partially, at least six months after chemotherapy. The drug manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, should have been aware of this side effect as early as 2005. In 2005, a study that Sanofi-Aventis itself partially funded found that permanent alopecia occurred in 9.2% of patients. According to a later study from the National Cancer Research Institute, as many as 10-15% of patients given Taxotere during chemotherapy experience permanent alopecia.
What is the legal status?
Cases are being filed across the United States for permanent alopecia caused by Taxotere. Although no multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been established yet that would centralize the cases under one court or judge, it is likely that one will be established soon.
Statutes of limitations in each state govern the amount of time each individual has to file a case. If the case is not filed by this deadline, you may be permanently prevented from recovering for your injury. If you believe you have experienced permanent alopecia caused by Taxotere, don’t delay! Contact us immediately for a free consultation.