Every once and awhile, a company will come along and revolutionize how viruses like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are treated. Consumers trust that these companies will act in their best interest, keeping them safe from harmful side effects.
Gilead Sciences Inc. is not one of these companies.
The manufacturer of the HIV drug called Truvada has recently been hit with a flurry of lawsuits alleging that the company knowingly marketed their tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) products despite serious side effects. In addition, the company kept a safer alternative from their consumers to maximize profits.
The New York City Truvada lawsuit attorneys of Onder Law Firm are actively seeking out victims of Gilead’s deception to fight the company in civil court and secure the maximum monetary compensation they deserve.
Contact Onder Law Firm at (314) 310-7924 to set up your FREE legal consultation with our best New York City Truvada lawsuit lawyers today.
Out of 8.623 million New Yorkers in 2017, roughly 108,290 individuals were living with HIV. That same year, 1,970 new cases of HIV were diagnosed. Out of those newly diagnosed with HIV, men were affected by the virus in an overwhelming number when compared to women, 79.9 percent to 20.1 percent.
The most common demographics that are affected by this virus include:
Some of the most affected areas of New York City are within its core, where zip codes 11203, 11208, 11212, 11213, and 11216 all range between a rate of 2,000 and 3,600 people that were living with HIV per 100,000. In total, the virus claimed 1,209 New Yorkers in 2017 alone.
TDF drug use increased steadily within New York City. Within the first quarter of 2014, around 249 TDF prescriptions were filled, which totaled out to be a rate of 39 prescriptions issued out per 100,000 patients that were observed. This number would grow substantially within the next two years.
By the 2nd quarter in 2016, around 2,977 new prescriptions were filled, resulting in a rate of 419 prescriptions filled per 100,000 people.
Usage of HIV medications like Truvada has only increased since then. That means that thousands of New Yorkers are at risk of developing bone and kidney complications if the drug they were taking is Truvada or any of its TDF-based counterparts.
Approximately 136,000 people throughout the nation use Truvada, signifying that 136,000 people could potentially be at risk of developing life-threatening bone and kidney complications. The most affected from this total—which makes up roughly 2 percent of the total U.S. population—rests with gay and bisexual men, especially men of color.
In a 2017 NBC News article, it stated that 35 percent of gay and bisexual men use HIV drugs like Truvada to help them manage or prevent HIV. In fact, 87 percent of Latinos, 86 percent of African-Americans, and 95 percent of Caucasian gay and bisexual men know about Truvada, but only 30 percent of Latinos, 26 percent of African-Americans, and 40 percent of White members of the same demographic actually take the medication.
Women are also another portion of who HIV greatly affects and thus may take TDF-based medications such as Truvada. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that out of 78,360 Americans who filled prescriptions for the drug back in 2016, 4.7 percent of them were women.
In essence, Truvada may seem like a wonder drug that helps people maintain a condition that was once considered a death sentence, but when Gilead pushed this drug into the market knowing full well about all of the negative side effects to make some quick revenue, their users suffered. Some even died.
Now is the time to fight back. Contact the New York City Truvada lawsuit attorneys of Onder Law Firm at (314) 310-7924 to get started on your FREE legal consultation today.
Even though Truvada is used to reduce—or even cease—replication of HIV-infected cells by slowing the activity of the hormone reverse transcriptase, users of the drug started to develop lasting, painful side effects that primarily affected their bones and kidneys.
TDF is much to blame for the development of these complications, as large quantities of it are needed to stop replication of HIV-infected cells. TDF wasn’t only present in Truvada, however. Some other drugs that contained the ingredient were:
Astonishingly, Gilead made money hand over fist by selling these harmful drugs. Yearly, the company would rake in more than $11 billion in Truvada sales, despite the wide array of bone complications that its users developed, namely:
TDF creates these bone complications because it causes the skeletal system to lose calcium and other minerals that make bones strong. This process is called bone demineralization. As a result, bones become more brittle and susceptible to breaks and fractures. In fact, around 6,000 users of Truvada have claimed to have sustained broken bones because of the drug.
That’s not all the damage that TDF-based medications can wreak on the human body. Users of Truvada also claim that they have developed debilitating kidney complications such as:
Large amounts of TDF is required to treat HIV replication, and the excess is then taken to the kidneys in order to be flushed out of the body with urine. As excess TDF and calcium begin to stress the kidneys, the aforementioned kidney complications are more likely to occur, especially in users that have preexisting kidney conditions.
But that’s not the full extent of what TDF does to a user’s body. Some cases have also reported that users of Truvada have developed lactic acidosis, essentially a condition where the body becomes more acidic. This condition can cause cause muscle aches, burning sensations, stomach cramps, nausea, rapid breathing, and even death.
Throughout its 30 years of operation, Gilead Sciences Inc. has been the focus of many lawsuits like paying one year’s worth of salary to doctors to promote their products and how they acquired another ingredient from an unapproved source. It wasn’t until two recent California lawsuits where others started coming forward about the complications they suffered because of the drug.
In their lawsuits, Gilead had allegedly withheld a safer alternative to their harmful TDF-based medications in order to make a profit. When Gilead first won the patent on TDF, they had also created the safer alternative—known as tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF). This safer alternative accomplishes what TDF-based medicines do at a much smaller, safer dose.
The company then made a conscious decision to shelve the safer medication in order to sell the TDF-based medications to maximize profits and keep hold of the patent until it expired in 2015.
Then, the company would sell their TAF-based medications and market it as a “new and improved” formula. The company concealed the fact that they knew about the bone and kidney complications from the FDA and their consumers.
The lawsuits are still ongoing. In fact, the two gentlemen that filed the initial lawsuits also filed a side class action lawsuit so that others that have been taken advantage of by the company can come forward. While this sends a strong message to pharmaceutical companies, it does little to earn you the full compensation you deserve.
New Yorkers suffering from bone and kidney complications because of Gilead’s Truvada have access to the best legal representation through Onder Law Firm. We have the legal experience you need to win the maximum monetary compensation that is owed to you. Contact us at (314) 310-7924 to set up your FREE legal consultation today.
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