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Chemotherapy as a cancer treatment often results in hair loss. In fact, hair loss is so commonplace that charities now accept hair donations and companies manufacture fashion wigs for cancer patients. Patients believe that after surviving chemotherapy and curing their cancer, hair will regrow. However, a new wave of lawsuits has recently mounted against a pharmaceutical company who failed to warnpatients of the risk of permanent baldness associated with their chemotherapy drug, Taxotere. 

Were There Misrepresentations?

Taxotere, the name brand of the drug Docetaxel, is used to fight several types of cancers, including breast cancer, gastric cancer, and some types of prostate and lung cancer. The drug behaves by interfering with cell division. However, this action affects not only cancerous cells, but healthy cells as well. Although all chemotherapy drugs include a risk of side effects, recent lawsuits have claimed that the manufacturer of Taxotere, Sanofi-Aventis, had knowledge of a risk of permanent baldness, yet failed to disclose such risk to physicians and patients.

One of those recent lawsuits alleges that based on its own research, Sanofi Aventis was aware of the drug's increased risk for permanent baldness as early as 2005. Further, plaintiffs in this action assert that although the Federal Drug Administration issued a warning letter to the drug's manufacturer in 2009 (referencing "false or misleading statements concerning unsubstantiated claims of Taxotere's superior efficacy"), there was no change to the drug label until January of 2016.

The Duty to Warn

Drug manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers about a drug's known side effects. Consequently, consumers may pursue product liability lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies when they are injured by side effects about which the company failed to warn. A pharmaceutical company may be found liable for providing inadequate warnings, inaccurate warnings, or no warnings at all. These are among the most common claims in lawsuits brought against pharmaceutical companies. Presently, there are numerous actions pending against Sanofi-Aventis due to its failure to warn female patients about the risk of permanent baldness resulting from Taxotere.

If you or someone you love has suffered permanent baldness, or another serious injury as the result of taking Taxotere or another pharmaceutical product, contact the Morris County law offices of Smith & Doran for a cost-free consultation. Our highly skilled products liability attorneys can answer all of your questions and outline your available legal options.

For more information on the recent federal lawsuit involving liability for Taxotere, see Lawsuit: Drug Company Failed to warn women of Permanent Baldness

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