June 4, 2014 — A man from Texas has filed a lawsuit against AbbVie, Inc., alleging that his heart attack was caused by AndroGel (testosterone gel), a popular testosterone replacement product.
The plaintiff, David Lyon, filed his lawsuit (PDF) this week in federal court in Illinois. He is not alone — just days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating studies linking AndroGel and heart attacks, five other men filed lawsuit in the same court. AbbVie is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
Lyon is a 72 year-old man from Dallas, Texas, who work as an executive assistant to the vice president of a multi-national corporation. He says he started taking AndroGel to treat symptoms he attributed to “Low T” beginning in January 2005. In November, he suffered a heart attack (myocardial infarction). He had no history of cardiovascular events before starting Androgel.
According to the lawsuit:
“Defendants engaged in an aggressive physician marketing and direct-to-consumer advertising campaign for AndroGel. … Consumers of AndroGel were misled as to the drug’s safety and efficacy, and as a result have suffered injuries including life-threatening cardiac events, strokes, and thrombolytic events.”
The complaint also cites two studies published in the last year. One study found that men over 65 years old were twice as likely to have a heart attack if they used testosterone replacement therapy. The other study found a 30% increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death during the first 90 days of treatment.
As the number of lawsuits continues to grow at a rapid pace, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) is considering consolidating the litigation into one federal court. The panel of judges heard oral arguments last week and are expected to issue a ruling in the near future.