Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an incurable, life-ending disease. Although there is no cure for HIV patients yet, there are some treatments that can help slow the progression of the disease and allow individuals to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Unfortunately, some of these medications have been linked to serious complications, prompting some patients to file a Viread lawsuit. If you or a loved one has taken Viread and suffered serious bone- or kidney-related side effects, you have the right to consult a defective drug lawyer to learn about your options for legal recourse.
The attorneys at Rutter Mills represent clients across the nation who have been harmed by dangerous drugs such as Viread. If you’ve experienced bone fracture, bone loss, or kidney failure after taking Viread, call today for a free legal consultation.
About Viread and Other TDF Drugs
Viread was the first TDF drug manufactured and sold by Gilead Sciences for the purpose of treating patients living with HIV. TDF (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) is the active ingredient in a family of drugs that also includes Atripla, Truvada, Complera, and Stribild. These drugs are in a class known as nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).
They are intended to work by preventing the HIV virus from multiplying within the body. This may enable the immune system to become stronger and function more effectively, which may consequently allow patients to fight off other infections. In patients with HIV, the immune system is severely weakened to the point at which it is difficult to fight off other, more common infections, such as pneumonia, which may result in severe complications, hospitalization, or death.
However, a growing number of patients have filed TDF lawsuits claiming that:
- They were not adequately warned about the risks they faced for bone density loss and kidney-related problems
- The drug maker knew of an equally effective and safer alternative to the drug and failed to bring it to the market
A TDF lawsuit may enable patients to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Viread Side Effects
Plaintiffs allege that Gilead failed to adequately disclose the risk of serious complications associated with Viread. These complications include serious bone conditions, including osteopenia and osteoporosis, which places patients at a higher risk of fractures. Some fractures, such as hip fractures, can sometimes result in permanent disability, particularly in older patients.
A Viread lawsuit attorney at Rutter Mills is also ready and able to represent clients who have developed serious kidney problems as an alleged result of taking Viread and other TDF medications. These kidney problems may include acute renal failure, chronic kidney disease, and Fanconi syndrome. Patients who develop kidney problems typically require ongoing dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant in order to extend their lives.
Gilead Sciences May Have Ignored Safer Alternative
Plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit against Gilead claim that the company intentionally suppressed research into a safer alternative.
According to the lawsuits, the defendants knew since at least as early as 2000 that there was a safer alternative to the TDF drugs. Known as tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF), this drug was believed to be less harmful to the patient’s kidneys and bones. So far, this new formulation (which is now marketed under the brand names of Genvoya and Odefsey) has not been linked to these serious complications. In addition, TAF was shown to have a thousand-fold greater activity acting against the HIV virus than TDF.
The HIV medication lawsuit states that Gilead distributed funds to doctors who conducted small clinical trials with TAF. Those clinical studies yielded positive results, yet, the plaintiffs say, Gilead intentionally failed to publish those studies in order to continue profiting from Viread and other TDF drugs. At least one of the lawsuits calls this maneuver “an act of extreme malice.” Meanwhile, Viread and the rest of the TDF family brought in billions of dollars on an annual basis for the company.
In 2004, Gilead announced that it was no longer researching or developing TAF after the company had conducted an internal business review of the endeavor. However, after that point, the company continued to seek new patents on TAF. Then, over six years later, the company announced to investors that it had found a new chemical compound known as TAF. That drug was approved by the FDA in 2015. According to the complaints filed against the company, Gilead reportedly halted the release of the new, safer medication in order to maximize profits on TDF during the years in which its patents prevented competitors from developing generic versions.
Filing an HIV medication lawsuit with Rutter Mills
If you have suffered any type of serious complication after using Viread or any other TDF medication, you may have the basis to file a lawsuit against HIV medication manufacturers. Rutter Mills provides vigorous legal representation to patients who have suffered harm as a result of taking Viread and other TDF medications. Our legal team has a wealth of experience litigating dangerous drug cases, as we seek to hold those responsible accountable for the harm they have caused to patients across the country.
We provide free legal consultations to help you determine if you are eligible to file an HIV medication lawsuit. Our team is available around the clock to answer your questions. We represent clients all around the country, so call today for your free case review.
Additional resources on Viread lawsuits:
- Los Angeles Times, Patients sue Gilead, saying drug company intentionally delayed safer HIV medicine, https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gilead-hiv-drug-lawsuit-20180509-story.html
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