If you or a family member suffered serious health complications related to the use of Truvada in conjunction with other HIV medications, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit. Gerling Law has a committed team of dangerous drug lawyers who are knowledgeable and well-prepared for the Truvada lawsuit. If you believe you or a loved one might have a valid claim for damages, a Gerling Law Truvada lawyer can help. Contact Gerling Law for a free, no-obligation and confidential consultation today to learn how you can trust our experienced attorneys to knowledgeably and compassionately help you and see if you qualify for a Truvada lawsuit today.
What Is Truvada?
Truvada is a medication developed by the biopharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences, used in controlling HIV infections. It contains a mix of two different HIV medications—tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine. The FDA approved it for HIV prevention in 2002. Truvada should be taken with other HIV medications, or it will not be as effective in controlling an HIV infection. It does not claim to cure AIDS or HIV, only to help prevent other conditions and infections. Truvada should improve your quality of life, not reduce it.
People who are HIV-negative and at high risk of contracting HIV have also taken Truvada. That may include those who have an STD, have regular unprotected sex, use or abuse drugs and alcohol, or have an HIV-positive partner. Truvada could potentially prevent exposure. However, its dangerous side effects outweigh any potential benefits.
Gilead also makes other HIV drugs like Atripla, Stribild, Viread, and Complera that can also cause the serious adverse effects. These drugs do not have high bioavailability, which means they are not well-absorbed unless taken in high doses. However, TDF can be very toxic when taken in large doses over an extended period of time. That is the basis for a TDF drug lawsuit and claim against Truvada.
Specifically, research has linked Truvada with very serious complications like bone fractures, kidney failure, and lactic acidosis. Many thousands of HIV/AIDS patients may have been unknowingly exposed to significant kidney and bone damage from TDF as a component of their ostensibly lifesaving antiretroviral drug regimens—all manufactured and sold by Gilead. In addition, many HIV-negative individuals seeking to prevent HIV acquisition may have suffered similar harm to their kidneys or bones from taking Truvada as part of their PrEP protocol.
As a result, legal action has been taken against Gilead asserting: 1) strict products liability – failure to warn; 2) negligence and gross negligence – design defect and failure to warn; 3) fraud; and 4) breach of express and implied warranty. Plaintiffs and their Truvada lawsuit attorneys believe that Gilead should be held accountable for its failure to rectify TDF’s known defect. Even though it secretly had a much safer alternative formulation in its pipeline, tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), Gilead deliberately suppressed the safer product from the market for nearly fifteen years in order to extend its profits made by selling the defective TDF. Gilead should be held liable for its failure to warn patients of the damaging side effects of TDF and its active misrepresentation of TDF’s efficacy and substantial risks since TDF has been found to be highly toxic in the doses prescribed and posed risks for permanent and possibly fatal damage to the kidneys and bones.
According to Drug Watch, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) reported 11,381 adverse events for Truvada between 2005 and September 2019. Out of those cases, 8,982 had serious complaints and 718 people died.
Difference Between TDF and TAF Drugs
TAF (tenofovir alafenamide) drugs are considered to be safer alternatives to TDF prescriptions. Gilead has released TAF HIV drugs now, but critics say they intentionally delayed the release by years to increase the sales of TDF HIV drugs and, thereby, Gilead’s profits. TAF does not pose the same side effect risks as its TDF counterparts because it contains smaller concentrations of the main ingredient, tenofovir, so lesser amounts of it are released into the blood. That prevents the same build-up in the kidneys and blood that can result from TDF drugs.
Gilead knew about TAF drugs for around two decades (since 2000) but chose only to release them in recent years. With an exorbitantly high consumer cost on Truvada (nearly $2,000 for a 30 day supply), Gilead stood to lose billions by informing the public of the dangers of TDF and stopping production. Despite knowing about a safer alternative, it chose to continue manufacturing a drug with dangerous side effects. Its decision to prioritize maximizing profits over the health and well-being of people’s lives has resulted in numerous people suffering from life-threatening side effects. Gilead should be held responsible for purposely withholding important information and caring more about their bottom line.
Lawsuits Filed Against Gilead
If you or a loved one is suffering from Truvada’s serious side effects, it is essential to consider a claim against Truvada. Multiple TDF drug lawsuits are pending against Gilead. Some of the most common allegations in current litigation include:
- Knowing there was a safer alternative drug, TAF, in existence;
- Not rectifying any known defects in Truvada’s manufacturing;
- Knowingly misrepresenting that TDF drugs had no severe side effects, and were very safe to use; and
- Not warning patients and medical professionals of the life-threatening injuries and side effects of Truvada.
At Gerling Law, our professional and aggressive defective drug lawyers are here to help you pursue compensation against Gilead for your injuries. We have years of experience handling high-exposure defective drug and product liability cases. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to learn more about filing a Truvada lawsuit.
Truvada and Kidney Failure
One of the most severe complications of taking Truvada long-term is kidney damage. Side effects range from acute kidney injuries to complete kidney failure. Fanconi’s Syndrome has also been reported in some patients. This disorder results in substances excreted in urine that are normally absorbed into your blood.
As your kidney problems become chronic, your kidneys start to function less efficiently over time. You may not even know that you are in the early stages of kidney failure.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, many signs can point to kidney disease. Some of these signs include:
- You have difficulty concentrating, feel fatigued, or have less energy;
- You are experiencing difficulty sleeping;
- Your skin is itchy and dry;
- Your urine has a foamy appearance;
- There is visible blood in your urine;
- You need to urinate more often;
- You have muscle cramping;
- You have puffiness regularly around the eyes;
- Your feet and ankles are swollen; and
- Your appetite is poor.
Other symptoms may include high blood pressure, chest pain, and even shortness of breath. If you have suffered from one or more of these symptoms and are on or have taken Truvada, you need to contact a doctor immediately.
Other Truvada Injuries
In addition to causing kidney failure, Truvada is shown to cause a loss in bone density. That results in brittle or broken bones and osteoporosis. While a decrease in bone density is not uncommon with HIV, drugs containing TDF can cause an acceleration.
Truvada also has numerous other side effects. Some of the more common ones include:
- Abdominal pain,
- Joint pain,
- Weight loss,
- Diarrhea, and
Truvada users who have experienced bone-related side effects like fractures, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and other related orthopedic injuries need to see a medical professional.
There is also a risk for a buildup of lactic acid in your blood, known as lactic acidosis. It is rarer, but it’s considered a medical emergency as lactic acidosis can lead to death.
Truvada also has a black box warning—a serious warning the FDA requires for products with severe or life-threatening side effects—related to the exacerbation of hepatitis B (HBV) symptoms when discontinuing a TDF drug like Truvada. The acute flare-ups after stopping Truvada can be severe. Patients may need to restart hepatitis therapy.
Do I Qualify for a Truvada Lawsuit?
If you have suffered any serious complications from using Truvada, you may have the right to pursue legal action for your injuries. While financial compensation cannot undo the physical damage that Truvada caused, it can cover some of your medical costs.
To qualify for a TDF drug lawsuit, you need to have taken one of these drugs to treat HIV and developed subsequent injuries. These could be bone problems, kidney injuries, or other serious injuries. There are multiple names for TDF drugs on the market as well. In addition to Truvada, some other TDF drugs include:
- AccessPak for HIV PEP Expanded with Viracept;
- AccessPak for HIV PEP Expanded with Kaletra;
- Symfi Lo; and
If you suffered injuries due to a TDF drug, you could be eligible to receive reimbursement for compensatory damages like medical expenses, time off work, future medical treatment, and more. You may also be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering and mental anguish. If you or a family member dies due to Truvada complications, your family may have a wrongful death lawsuit as well.
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Hiring a Truvada Lawyer to Help with Your Case
Pursuing a claim for your injuries from Truvada can be complicated. You need a skilled lawyer for a defective drug lawsuit. At Gerling Law, our attorneys will build a strong case to help you recover the maximum compensation. To do that, we need to gather evidence that proves liability against Truvada's manufacturer, Gilead.
You can help your case by getting all pertinent documentation in order. Hold on to any paperwork showing your history of using Truvada, medical bills, doctors' reports, timecards, pay stubs, and any other associated proof of your injuries. Write down a list of possible witnesses. You may want to keep a personal journal of your injuries and treatment required due to Truvada's side effects. Do not panic if you do not have all this documentation. We can subpoena many of your records as well.
Once we have enough evidence, we can start assessing the extent of your damages. In addition to a demand for compensatory damages, we will ask for punitive damages against Gilead.
In a case like this, you must retain an attorney as soon as you can. We need as much time as possible to gather evidence, and there is a statute of limitations that limits your time to file a case. Failure to file a TDF drug lawsuit within the statute of limitations means the court could bar your claim.
Contact a Lawyer for a Truvada Case
If you are ready to learn more about filing a TDF drug lawsuit, contact Gerling Law to schedule a consultation. You need a law firm with the necessary skills and financial resources to take on drug manufacturers like Gilead. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling high-value defective drug and product liability cases. When you retain Gerling Law, you can rest assured we will do whatever is necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve.
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