The public fully puts its trust in the medical field. People want to trust in the pharmaceutical companies who engineer and produce the drugs that help so many as well as in the doctors who possess the expertise to heal the human body. Unfortunately, there are occasions where a perfect storm between the pharmaceutical companies and physicians causes harm to the very public they are both supposed to serve.
AndroGel, Axiron, Fortesta and Testim off-label low T marketing are a prime examples of just such an instance. In fact, many now contend that testosterone therapy got big simply because of its purposeful off-label marketing. Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc., creators of AndroGel, realized that their sales would skyrocket if the drug could “ride [the] coat tails of Viagra.” Unfortunately, AndroGel was only approved by the FDA to treat a specific condition of the sex glands, never for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
In order to boost their sales of the drug, Solvay pushed the off-label use of their drug. According to John King, one of Solvay’s sales manager, “If we had truly stuck to the FDA approved indication, AndroGel would never have had anywhere near the sales it had.” Axiron, another testosterone treatment, followed suit with an off-label push of their own, so much so that the two drugs have become interchangeable in regards to this controversy.
If these off-label marketing schemes hadn’t caused any harm, then the companys’ unethical practices would have been criminal enough. Unfortunately, many patients who used either drug as prescribed by their physicians were grievously injured as a definitive link has been found between testosterone therapy and heart attacks.
Men younger than 65 years of age with a previous heart condition doubled their chance for a heart attack in the first three months of beginning the therapy. Once the patient’s age reached 65 or over, the patient’s risk for heart attack also doubled, whether they had a previous heart condition or not.
The aggressive marketing strategies of such irresponsible pharmaceutical companies must be brought to task. If you or a loved one fell victim to such unethical practices, please feel free to contact the Levensten Law Firm to learn about your rights to compensation for your injuries.