Did Lilly Make the Right Move at the Right Time?
By Mark A. York (January 2, 2018)
One month before the start of its first bellwether trial in Testosterone MDL 2545, in an Illinois courtroom, related to drug side effects, Eli Lilly & Co., announced it has reached a global settlement in all cases filed against it in the Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation.
The drug company was facing claims that they failed to warn that its testosterone replacement therapy drug Axiron, could cause potentially deadly heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.
The pharmaceutical company told U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding to resolve all pending litigation. As a result, Judge Kennelly canceled two upcoming trial dates – in January and March – involving Axiron. The trials involved the case of Tracy Garner, who claimed that using Axiron caused him to suffer a heart attack, and the case of John DeBroka Jr., who said he developed deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in the deep veins, after taking Axiron.
The terms of the settlement were not outlined in the court documents, however based on recent trial verdicts, Lilly may have made the correct move in settling all claims.
Eli Lilly faced a portion of the 6,000 cases in the testosterone side effects multidistrict litigation. Other testosterone manufactures named include AbbVie and Auxilium, both of which have already gone to trial. AbbVie faced about 4,200 cases and was hit with two back-to-back verdicts totalling $290 million.
The drug companies are accused of failing to warn of testosterone side effects as well as marketing the male prescription hormone product for an alleged off-label use – for a made up condition called “Low T.” Testosterone treatments are intended only indicated for men with hypogonadism, a condition in which men have low testosterone levels due to defect, disease or injury.