April 14, 2014 — The family of a Louisiana man who had a heart attack after using Testim (testosterone gel) has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals.
The plaintiffs are the children of John B. Peuler, who started used Testim in April 2012. Just over a year later, he suffered a deadly heart attack. He was 61 years old and had no prior history of blood clots, diabetes, stroke, or serious cardiovascular events.
Auxilium and other testosterone drug-makers are now facing dozens of lawsuits. Most of these lawsuits are filed against AbbVie, the manufacturer of Androgel (testosterone gel). Testim is not as popular as Androgel, but both products were marketed for the treatment of “Low T.” Plaintiffs accuse them of engaging in aggressive, misleading direct-to-consumer “disease awareness” campaigns aimed at convincing millions of middle-aged men to ask their doctors about “Low T.”
Recent studies indicate that only 50% of men who received prescriptions for testosterone replacement therapy actually had hypogonadism (low testosterone caused by a medical condition), and 25% received prescriptions without having a blood test.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also investigating two studies linking testosterone therapy and heart attacks. One study found that men over 65 on testosterone were twice as likely to have a heart attack as men who did not use testosterone. The other study found that older men on testosterone were 30% more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or death within the first 90 days of treatment.