Consumer Alert Now objective is to provide consumers with the necessary information about all the dangerous drugs and defective devices in the market. It’s objective entails warning people about all the side effects and all the unauthorized procedures offered by some medical practitioners and manufacturers of drugs. We aim to advise people on the ways they can take legal action against people who are driven by greed.
Consumer alert now is aware of the manufacturers and medical practitioners’ shady activities. People have lost lives, and others have sustained injuries for life. Our legal experts at Consumer Alert Now will help you get justice for any damages incurred from a dangerous drug. You can reach us at our offices nationwide to help you with your case.
Truvada and What It Treats
Truvada is a type of antiretroviral drug from the company Gilead Sciences Inc. The drug is designed to combat Viruses such as HIV present in a human body. It reduces HIV levels, thereby returning the body's immunity system to how it was.
Truvada is a brand name for Emtricitabine/tenofovir. Truvada is a blend of two drugs: tenofovir disoproxil and FTC (Emtriva). Truvada is a fixed-dose that can be used with other medications for the management of HIV. The drug is categorized as Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors, which are among the groups of antiretroviral medicines used to treat HIV infection. The drug is administered through the mouth and is taken daily. It is generally recommended for people who have a high chance of contracting HIV.
Truvada is not a cure for HIV. It only prevents HIV from developing into Aids. However, Truvada can be used in order to avoid HIV as a prophylactic drug. For HIV negative people, taking Truvada before engaging in sexual intercourse with an HIV positive person, can reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Before taking the medication, a person must first confirm his/her HIV status. Truvada is not used to decrease the risks of getting HIV-1. It is advisable to take Truvada while practicing safer sex to minimize the chances of contracting HIV. Safe sex practices include:
- Using a latex condom during intercourse
- Informing your partner about your HIV status
- Regular HIV testing. It is advisable to go for testing every three months
- Talking to a doctor about the different ways you can minimize the chances of getting HIV
Truvada was permitted by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) in the US in 2001 under the name Viread. Since its approval, the drug has been sold under different names including Truvada
How Truvada Works
When a person gets infected with HIV, the virus takes over body cells in the body. The cells are then forced to make more copies of HIV. To make these copies, the cells require enzymes called reverse transcriptase. Truvada works by interfering with this enzyme, thereby suppressing HIV from making more copies of itself.
Negative Side Effects of Truvada
As with most dangerous drugs, Truvada has some side effects which make people uncomfortable, cause diseases, and even death. Here are some of the severe side effects of Truvada:
According to research, HIV patients taking Truvada to suppress HIV are more prone to kidney failure.
Kidneys are essential organs of the body. They are made up of nephrons, which consist of blood vessels and tubes. Kidneys work by removing waste from the body in the form of urine. Kidney failure from Truvada occurs when the drug accumulates in the nephrons, thereby damaging them. The result of this is a kidney failure that will require dialysis or kidney diseases which may bring forth other health risks such as heart attacks.
Even though kidney problems are more common in people taking antiretroviral drugs, research has proven that Truvada increases the risk of kidney failure. The study further shows that even after the end of Truvada treatment, signs of kidney disease remain for at least a year.
Warning by FDA
The first warning was issued in 2002 when the company made statements about the drugs not causing kidney failure despite the clinical research documentation included on the warning label.
The second warning was released when the company's sales representatives were caught downplaying the dangers of kidney problems. The final warning was issued when a promotional web link failed to mention the risks of Truvada on kidneys.
For patients who have taken Truvada, there is a higher chance of getting Osteoporosis than to those who have not taken the drug. A human body is made up of a collection of bones called the skeletal system. The skeletal system is an essential system of the body because it provides support and stability. Even though the weakening of bones occurs naturally in most people with age, Truvada has been shown to accelerate the loss of bone density resulting in a disease called Osteoporosis.
A study was conducted to analyze the risks of bone problems on patients who had taken Truvada and those who had not. The study found out that patients who had taken the drug were at a higher risk of developing bone problems.
Warning by FDA
In 2002, Gilead Sciences received a notice from the Food and Drug Administration about making wrong and deceptive comments about the product to the consumers. The sales representatives failed to mention the dangers of the drug on a person’s skeletal system, even though the FDA had included the bone fissures as a risk on the warning label.
In the following year, Gilead Science Inc. received another warning from the FDA about the same issues, but they failed to comply.
FDA for the third time issues another warning in a bid to have the company remove a sponsored link that had failed to mention the risk of bone problems from taking the drugs.
Severe Liver Disease
Among the symptoms of liver problems originating from Truvada medication are, dark urine, yellow-colored eyes, loss of appetite, and light-colored stools. If you get these symptoms, you should visit a health facility to rule out liver problems.
Even though this condition is rare, research has shown that the drug is dangerous to HIV patients. Patients taking Truvada medication have a high chance of having too much lactic acid in their bodies. The tenofovir causes the body to produce more lactic acid that is unnecessary, which can be harmful to some of the body organs such as the liver. The condition can be life-threatening to patients.
Truvada can worsen Hepatitis B. For patients with Hepatitis B. When you stop taking Truvada; there is a high chance that Hepatitis B will worsen.
Other side effects of Truvada are minor, and they include:
- Unsettled stomach
- Back pain
Mass Torts of Truvada, Gilead Sciences Inc.
People around the world rely on medications and medical devices for the betterment of their health. Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers driven by greed, take advantage of unsuspecting consumers by releasing dangerous drugs into the market. Patients who end up taking these drugs often prescribed by their doctors end up with more diseases or worse injuries. Filing a suit against a pharmaceutical company like Gilead will hold them accountable for introducing a defective drug in the market.
In 2018, Gilead Company Inc. was named as a defendant in multiple lawsuits from claims about their dangerous drug called Truvada. Gilead through its lawyers, filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that they were blocked by federal law and the design defect allegations. Their court denied their proposal, which meant the case would proceed to trial.
The lawsuits were meant to hold the drug company accountable for its actions that resulted in deadly consequences. HIV litigation lawyers filed the suit in a superior court in California. For example, Timothy Williams et al. v. Gilead Sciences, Inc. In the lawsuit, Gilead is called a greedy corporation for deliberately putting a dangerous drug in the market to maximize profits.
A few patients have sued Gilead Sciences Inc. on claims that the pharmaceutical company intentionally withheld information on a safer version of the drug from the market. The reason was in a scheme to maximize profits from it. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of people living with HIV got severe and deadly complications. The injuries could have been avoided if only the company had disclosed the information about the safer alternative drug.
In the lawsuit, affected patients argued that Gilead Sciences Inc. was aware of the dangers of Truvada, which prompted them to develop a safer version. The company executives had deliberately stopped the production of the more reliable version of the drug until the Truvada patent was fixed to expire. The move was a means to reap high profits from the sale of the drug. As a consequence, patients suffered from kidney failure and bone density for ten years.
For a patient to qualify for a mass tort lawsuit, a person should prove that he/she had taken Truvada. After that, they should also show that they had suffered either kidney failure or related kidney problems and bone weakening.
Types of Mass Tort Claims
A Defective Product Claim
If there is a defective product in the market, such as a car seat or a food product, that causes injuries or death, multiple victims might come together to sue the organization responsible.
Medical Products Claim
Manufacturers might make a product that has unfortunate health risks such as injuries and possibly death. The company involved will have to take liability for damages caused to the victims.
Examples of ecological torts can be an oil leak that affects multiple victims in an area by exposing them to dangerous toxins. A suit will be filed against the organization involved.
How Mass Torts Are Done
First of all, a tort is a civil action involving a large number of victims against a person or an organization(defendants) in a federal or state court. The defendants accept responsibility for victims' damages. Mass tort claims are brought to conserve the court's resources and the parties involved. In mass torts lawsuits, victims are each treated as individuals, unlike in a class-action lawsuit. A single judge oversees and administers similar cases involving the same issues for all the court processes. All the information about the case including investigations, all gathered evidence and discovery are combined for the trial.
A mass tort is brought when a defective device or a dangerous drug causes harm to a large number of consumers. The suit is therefore meant to help multiple victims take legal action against one or several defendants for making a defective device or a dangerous product.
Pharmaceutical products such as drugs and medical devices can be released to the market and have dangerous side effects such as injuries or death. The manufacturer may knowingly or unknowingly fail to notify the public about the dangers of the product. If it is established that the manufacturer knew about the dangerous side effects of the product, the pharmaceutical organization will be held liable for the victims' damages. The drugs will also be recalled.
To file a mass tort suit, a court will first consider whether:
- Many people(victims) are involved
- The victims live in the same place or near each other
- The injuries from the defective device or dangerous drug are similar
- The claims made by the victims are from the same issue; the drug or device
Mass touts, therefore, allow for each person in a mass tort suit to receive compensation for the different claims and damages experienced by each plaintiff. If the court establishes and approves the mass tort, a judge will be assigned to hear the case.
Filing a Tort Claim
The steps to filing a tort claim are:
- A person(s) who suffered the damages (injury or loss) files a tort claim. If the victim died, another person entitled to assert the complaint could file the suit.
- File a suit within two years since the damage giving rise to the claim.
- Fill in a claim for damage injury or death form.
- The general counsel evaluates your claim and may either deny or settle it.
When you ask for legal assistance about a dangerous drug, your attorney will evaluate the case and give you an explanation of your rights about the defective drug recall. The attorney can then draft a claim and negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s attorneys or take the case to trial
Mass Tort Process
The first important step of a mass tort process is the reviewing of records, also known as discovery. It involves going through the case files. The Lawyers will take a look at the statements from the victims and their medical histories to ascertain the injuries and the dangerous drugs and defective products that caused the problems. The discovery process is vital because it helps identify consistencies of the claims between each victim.
Consistencies in Injury Claims
Lawyers will check for the common components of injuries as a result of the dangerous drug or defective device. This will be evidence of the claim, and it will also allow the victim lawyers to identify the cause of the compensation requests.
Filing in the Federal Court
To speed up the court’s process, all the information will be combined.
This involves conducting trials for smaller lawsuits of similar cases. The bellwether trials will determine the future outcomes of similar cases.
The victim lawyers and the defendant lawyers will enter into negotiations to settle the claims brought forward. The victims can then choose to ignore the proposed agreements presented by the defendants or agree to the terms. If the victims do not agree to the agreements, the cases will proceed to trial.
If the plaintiffs win a mass tort case, the defendant might try to appeal on the basis that plaintiffs did not meet the burden of proving causation
Since mass torts involve a large number of victims, the trials can take a long time before it can be resolved. Some issues will impact the time it takes for a specific mass tort lawsuit to end:
- Investigation and collection of evidence - Since a mass tort requires a lot of proof, it may take a while before all the tests are gathers.
- Locating and disposing of witnesses related to the case - Mass torts require various witness testimony, including expert depositions. Finding and deposing witnesses involved can take a long time.
- Traveling - Not all witnesses can be at one place when they are needed, because of this, lawyers will have to go to meet them to get their witness testimony.
Compensation in a Mass Tort
Mass torts are a part of multidistrict litigation, which means cases are coordinated together before a single judge for a hearing. And even though evidence of the case is collective, an individual plaintiff does not have to represent the rest of the plaintiff.
In a mass tort lawsuit, each victim is treated as an individual; this means compensation varies from plaintiff to plaintiff. Mass tort allows for victims to pursue different proportions of compensation claims.
How Compensation Amount is Determined in a Mass Tort
In a mass tort, compensation is determined based on the evaluation of medical data. Medical professionals will study the plaintiff's medical records to ascertain if they meet the compensation criteria. When the lawyers from both sides finally settled on a deal, they will set up a matrix in which they will consider different things before coming up with an amount for each of the plaintiffs.
Some of these factors arethe age of the plaintiff, date when ingested the drugs, the type of injury caused, the time the said effects were diagnosed, the medical care and treatment given, whether the treatment helped and the plaintiff's medical history. Therefore, mass tort lawsuits ensure that each victim's claims are analyzed on its own.
In mass torts, individuals get compensation efficiently and fairly. Mass torts, therefore, help individuals get compensation like they would have if they had filed a personal injury lawsuit.
Mass torts ensure victims are not intimidated by large companies with unlimited resources. Mass torts give them a platform of the same level playing field irrespective of their economic background,
Different Types of Compensatory Damages
Since large companies have unlimited resources, they will take advantage of their resources to counter the liabilities. But having a great mass tort attorney will ensure you get compensation for damages. Some of the compensations are:
- Compensation for disability
- Compensation for all medical bills
- Payment for physical therapy
- All the transportation cost
- Payment for all the lost time spent away from work
- Compensation for damages caused to your relationships as a result of the injuries
- Compensation for psychological damages.
Consumer Alert Now alerts the public to the risks of specific medical products in the market that become a source of a lawsuit.
Consumer Alert Now, the purpose is to help you comprehend your rights and how to join a mass tort suit if a dangerous drug or defective device injures you. We will also give you expert and detailed information on various hazardous medicines and tools in the market. For the right medication and sound devices, we will explain what they are supposed to do and the multiple benefits they offer.
A manufacturing company must be held liable when it becomes negligent in offering service to consumers. It is your right as an injured person to get fair and just compensation for all the losses you might have incurred from a dangerous drug.
Find a Consumer Alert Expert Near Me
Mass torts provide an equal playground for victims looking for compensation against greedy manufacturers with unlimited legal resources. So, if you have been hurt or know of someone who has sustained injuries from a dangerous drug, do not worry but take action. At Consumer Alert Now, we serve people all around the country who have been injured by a dangerous drug. We will help you get justice between you and the manufacturer involved in the dangerous drug through a Mass tort lawsuit.
To start, reach our legal experts at Consumer Alert Now by calling 800-511-0747 now.