Yet again, a jury sent AbbVie, maker of the popular prescription testosterone drug Androgel, a loud and clear message. A federal jury in Chicago found that AbbVie misrepresented the dangers of using Androgel. And to make sure the drugmaker got their message, it also reached a verdict in excess of $140 million.
This most recent trial is the second bellwether case to be tried in the federal testosterone replacement therapy MDL. The plaintiff alleged that use of Androgel caused him to suffer a heart attack, and had he known the dangers of Androgel, he would not have taken the medication. The jury’s award consisted of $140 million in punitive damages – meant to deter behavior by AbbVie and other companies in the future – and $140,000 in compensatory damages.
In July, the jury hearing the first bellwether case against AbbVie awarded $150 million in punitive damages to an Oregon man also alleging the drug caused his heart attack. These first Androgel trials, as well as others scheduled against additional testosterone product manufacturers, are intended to help the parties gain insight into how future trials will play out and to develop strategies and settlement options for remaining cases.
AbbVie’s statement about the most recent verdict noted the company was “disappointed” with the outcome and, of course, that that they will appeal. AbbVie faces approximately 6,000 lawsuits by men claiming that Androgel caused them to suffer heart attacks, strokes, and other serious injuries.
The next scheduled trial in the testosterone replacement therapy MDL involves the drug Testim. Testim is made by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. That trial is set to begin on November 6 in Chicago.