Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (TDF) antiretroviral drugs first appeared on the market in 2001 under the brand name Viread. Later, the same manufacturer, Gilead, released Truvada (2004), Atripla (2006), Complera (2011), and Stribild (2012). These medicines to treat and prevent HIV infection promised patients longer, healthier lives, but instead delivered increased risks of kidney failure and bone density loss.
All drugs come with some risk, but manufacturers are required by law to disclose these risks, so doctors can work with patients to monitor and reduce health hazards, and select the best type of treatment based on family history and other risk factors. To make matters worse, evidence has been uncovered that Gilead suppressed the release of safer TAF drug alternatives as they waited for TDF drug patents to expire, so they could corner the market and reap huge profits.
Rutter Mills works with individuals who suffered adverse health effects and financial loss after taking TDF drugs as prescribed. A growing number of patients have opted to file a TDF lawsuit seeking compensation from Gilead for the unnecessary harm they have suffered. If you have any questions about your eligibility to file a Truvada lawsuit or litigation involving any of the other TDF-based drugs, it’s a great time for a free consultation.
What Side Effects Form the Basis of an HIV Drugs Lawsuit?
Side effects like headache, mild nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and dizziness are to be expected when starting a new HIV drug. However, these symptoms generally go away within a few weeks to a month and do not cause any lasting damage to the patient. Adverse events worthy of an HIV drugs lawsuit include:
- Kidney injuries – TDF drug patients may suffer from Fanconi Syndrome (a rare kidney tube disorder that releases essential nutrients into the urine before they can be absorbed by the bloodstream, causing pain, weakness, and bone fracture), Acute Kidney Injury (a buildup of waste products in the blood), Acute Renal Failure (which requires emergency medical care), or Chronic Kidney Disease (a condition which requires dialysis or transplant in order to survive). These injuries can last a year or more, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and can sometimes be fatal.
- Bone injuries – Patients taking TDF drugs may also suffer Osteopenia (bone thinning, causing pain, loss of stature, and increased risk of fracture), Osteoporosis (bone loss – in this case, at a rate of 1-2% per year); and Bone Fractures (leading 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men to fracture a bone after a minor fall, cough, or sneeze). Most patients do not realize they have aged, weakened bones until they see the doctor for a sudden fracture.
Which Gilead HIV Drugs Are Involved in the Lawsuits?
ALL Gilead HIV drugs are involved in litigation. Call Rutter Mills if you believe you are eligible to file a:
- Truvada lawsuit (tenofovir)
- Atripla lawsuit (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir)
- Viread lawsuit (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)
- Complera lawsuit (emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir)
- Stribild lawsuit (elvitegravir/cobicistat/tenofovir/emtricitabine)
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate is in a class of drugs known as the nucleotide analog reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NtRI), which work by inhibiting viral reverse transcriptase – a vital enzyme in HIV replication. TDF is quickly absorbed by the gut within one to two hours and is ultimately excreted by the kidneys. As a result, these drugs must be administered in high doses to achieve maximum efficacy, which puts undue stress on the kidneys. Researchers propose that renal tubular damage with phosphate wasting is a key factor in disrupting the absorption of vitamin D and calcium, which leads to bone loss.
Many of these drugs have warning labels and website information to reflect the risks now, but that wasn’t always the case. When drug manufacturers like Gilead fail to warn doctors and their patients, they can be held liable for a patient’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and death benefits paid to grieving family members.
You May Be Eligible to File a TDF Drugs Lawsuit
With claims mounting, lawsuits against Gilead could be consolidated in Multi-District Litigation (MDL), which would streamline early discovery processes and set aside several benchmark trials before the same judge to identify strengths and weaknesses of the common arguments against the drugmaker. However, unlike a class-action lawsuit, each claim in an MDL is handled individually based on its own merits with compensation determined on a case-by-case basis depending on individual degrees of loss and suffering.
Contact the drug injury lawyers at Rutter Mills for more information. Your first call is always free, and we work on a contingency basis with no upfront costs. You only pay us if and when we win compensation on your behalf.
When you’ve been injured, you’ve got a lot at stake - but so does the insurance company. Walking into the court room with a serious lawyer makes all the difference. Watch our video to learn more about Rutter Mills. Your lawyer matters.