Drugmakers Back Philadelphia Testosterone Case Consolidation

A group of drug manufacturers including Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and AbbVie Inc. are supporting a bid to create a new mass tort program in Pennsylvania state court to consolidate a number of cases alleging that certain testosterone-containing drugs caused strokes and heart attacks. In a summary filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas earlier this month, attorneys for Endo, AbbVie (later purchased by Endo), and GlaxoSmithKline LLC endorsed a motion filed in February by plaintiffs requesting that roughly 30 pending products liability cases be consolidated. Golomb Legalis co-representing the plaintiffs in this litigation.

From a practical perspective, consolidation makes sense for both the plaintiffs and the defendants. The consolidation will both ease discovery and allow for more effective coordination with lawyers handling a related MDL program in federal court in Illinois.

The first lawsuits alleging that testosterone-containing products caused injury began surfacing in March 2014 in Philadelphia. Plaintiffs alleged that Auxilium Pharmaceuticals’ Testim gel and AbbVie’s Androgel caused heart attacks in two men. The suits accuse the companies of failing to properly test the safety of the products, as well as concealing the potential dangers associated with their use. Furthermore, the plaintiffs argue that the drugmakers wrongfully pushed aggressive advertising campaigns to convince consumers that symptoms associated with normal aging were actually symptoms of a “disease” or “syndrome” called “Low T” (low testosterone).

The lawsuits were filed after the FDA announced that it would be investigating the possible increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and death in men using testosterone replacement drugs.

The case is Robert Hoehl et al. v. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al. (case number 140301684) in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs are represented by the D’Onofrio Firm, Ross Feller Casey, LLP, Golomb Legal, P.C., Anapol Weiss, Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck PC, Fodera & Long, Lopez McHugh LLP, Schachter Hendy & Johnson, and Matthews & Associates.