Many allegations have been made that Gilead Sciences intentionally withheld a safer drug from consumers in order to profit off its tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) medications instead. These medications include Atripla, as well as Truvada and other drugs intended to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and slow its progression. Now, some patients may have the option to file an Atripla lawsuit against the manufacturer with the assistance of a defective drug lawyer at Rutter Mills. A TDF lawsuit may help patients who have suffered harm secure compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.
What is Atripla used for?
Atripla is a combination medication that contains three different active ingredients: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). Atripla has roots back in 2001 when Gilead Sciences released the first TDF medication. This drug, Viread, contains only TDF. Initially, Viread could only be used intravenously. It was used to treat hepatitis B as well as HIV infection. TDF works by inhibiting the action of an enzyme that enables HIV to multiply and spread.
Gilead Sciences later added new medications to the arsenal of TDF drugs. Atripla was approved for use in 2006. Atripla and other medications that contain TDF are part of a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).
While the HIV patient community is in need of strong, effective medications to slow the progression of the disease, some patients have experienced severe Atripla side effects that have raised questions about the safety of the medication. Some of these complications have been listed in the patients’ HIV medication lawsuit.
Atripla side effects
Atripla is marketed as an effective medication for patients with HIV that enable them to lead healthier, longer lives. Although there is no HIV cure, HIV medications may help slow the progression of the infection. However, some patients say that the risks of Atripla outweigh the potential benefits. Atripla has been linked to serious kidney injuries, including acute renal failure, which requires emergency medical care. Chronic kidney disease may also develop. This life-threatening condition necessitates regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant.
Some Atripla patients have also allegedly developed Fanconi syndrome as a result of taking the medication. This is a rare kidney tube disorder. It causes the body to release nutrients in the urine, rather than absorbing them in the bloodstream. As a result, patients may become malnourished and suffer from additional complications like bone fractures.
In addition to these kidney injuries, an Atripla lawsuit attorney may file a complaint with regard to other complications, such as lactic acidosis. This is a type of metabolic acidosis that can become life-threatening. It occurs when the muscles lack sufficient oxygen to break down glycogen and glucose. Furthermore, liver problems have also been associated with Atripla and other TDF medications. These liver problems can be indicated by yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes, dark-colored urine, light-colored stool, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Note that it’s normal to experience some minor side effects when beginning any new HIV medication. These can include headaches, dizziness, mild nausea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.
TDF lawsuit allegations
The TDF lawsuits filed against Gilead Sciences typically allege that the plaintiffs suffered from serious complications as a result of taking Atripla and other TDF medications. Furthermore, multiple lawsuits claim that the defendants had the potential to develop an alternative HIV medication called tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF). This alternative to TDF reportedly had a significantly higher rate of effectiveness against the HIV virus. It has been alleged that Gilead failed to research and develop this alternative medication in the interests of maximizing their profits from the TDF drugs instead. HIV medications are intended to allow patients to live longer and healthier, but if these allegations are true, it would appear that Gilead prioritized profits instead of patient health and safety.
Potential compensation for Atripla lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit against Gilead may enable injured patients to recover compensation for their losses. Complaints that result in a jury award or settlement can compensate plaintiffs for their calculable losses, which are known as economic damages. These can include:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization costs, dialysis treatments, surgical fees, and pharmacy co-pays
- Home health aide
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
In addition, patients who file a TDF lawsuit may recover non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. In some cases, juries have also awarded punitive damages to plaintiffs. Punitive damages are awarded when the defendant is found to have engaged in particularly egregious conduct. This compensation is intended to punish the defendant and discourage future egregious conduct.
If you were prescribed Atripla or another TDF drug and you developed complications, you may have the basis to file an HIV medication lawsuit. The lawyers at Rutter Mills are working with individuals who have suffered as a result of these potentially dangerous drugs. For more than 50 years, our attorneys have made it their life’s work to pursue justice on behalf of injured victims. Call us 24/7 to discuss a potential lawsuit against HIV medication during your free case consultation.
Additional resources on Atripla side effects:
- Drugs.com, Atripla, https://www.drugs.com/atripla.html
- AIDS Info, Efavirenz / Emtricitabine / Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate, https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/drugs/424/atripla/0/patient
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.