We entrust pharmaceutical companies to do the right thing when they create drugs meant to better the quality of life for individuals all throughout the world. Most times, they act in good faith, keeping user safety as a top priority.
In the case of Gilead Sciences Inc., however, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Recently, Gilead has come under fire for their pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment called Truvada, a medication that was created to help reduce the risk of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well aid those already infected to better manage their condition.
Now, users throughout the world are concerned — and rightfully so — that the medication is causing them to suffer from bone and kidney complications.
But this isn’t the first time Gilead has come under scrutiny for defective products that they have released to the general public. Trust that your Truvada lawsuit attorneys at The Law Offices of A. Craig Eiland, PC are keeping watch on this pharmaceutical company that is looking to make a fast buck at the customers’ expense.
If you or someone you love has fallen victim to deceitful pharmaceutical company practices and developed complications, you need strong representation to fight for the justice and financial recovery you deserve. Contact The Law Offices of A. Craig Eiland, PC at (409) 763-3260 to set up your FREE legal consultation with our qualified Truvada lawsuit attorneys today.
The Company Behind Truvada
Gilead Sciences, Inc. was founded in 1987 by 29-year-old Michael L. Riordan, a medical doctor looking to create a scientific research institution. He would go on to lead the company as CEO until 1996, hiring like-minded individuals from the science community as advisers during his tenure.
Riordan directed the company to be a leader in antiviral medicines, an aim that was inspired after Riordan contracted dengue fever while he worked in malnutrition clinics in the Philippines. Eventually, the company would create tenofovir-based medications to help fight off viruses and improve the quality of life for users the world over.
However, things would soon change. In the latest round of lawsuits against the company, victims are alleging that Gilead knew about the severe and disabling side effects of Truvada since at least 2001.
To add insult to injury, Gilead had a safer alternative to several of their HIV medications that contained the problematic tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), the main cause of the complications users are suffering from.
Why Did Gilead Withhold Safer Drugs and Side Effect Information?
While this is all still being determined, it is suspected that Gilead withheld information regarding side effects and health complications all for one reason and one reason only: money. In doing so, they have caused irreparable damage to the users they were supposed to treat.
It has been uncovered that TDF-based antiretroviral medications are causing bone and kidney complications. In order to be truly effective, large doses of TDF must be administered, and with large doses of TDF, bone mineral density loss and kidney failure are often a common result.
The safer alternative, TAF, has been shown to not stay within the gastrointestinal tract, liver, or other organs like TDF does, thus not causing complications like its counterpart. Both of these drugs had been in development roughly around the same time.
Equipped with this information, Gilead allegedly chose not to release the less risky TAF-based medications in favor of releasing the TDF-based ones. Gilead allegedly wanted to obtain a patent for the TDF-based medications first while holding off on sending TAF-based medication to the market so that it could stretch out the lifespan of its patent. This move would guarantee that Gilead would be the exclusive purveyor of drugs like Truvada, essentially cornering the market share of antiretroviral drugs.
Then, after TDF-based medication were used by the general populace for a while, Gilead would introduce their safer, more efficient TAF-based medications, maximizing profit gains without market competition.
Four Previous Lawsuits Against Gilead Sciences Inc. And Questionable Business Practices
You may have heard by now that Gilead Sciences Inc. CEO, Daniel O’Day, took some heat from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez regarding how much Truvada costs in the United States compared to other countries, but this isn’t the only kind of bad press that the pharmaceutical giant has been getting as of late.
Over the last 32 years that Gilead Sciences has been under operation, a few big lawsuits have been filed against the drug company, leaving many to wonder what the true objectives of the company are.
The Whistle-Blower Suit
In 2015, a whistle-blower lawsuit was filed against Gilead Sciences, claiming that the company had paid healthcare providers to boost the sale of their HIV and hepatitis drugs. This unsealed False Claims Act case took place in a California federal court. The suit revealed allegations made by a whistle-blower against Gilead’s Frontlines and Communities in the United States program, a program designed to help healthcare, government, academia, and community groups easily hold hepatitis and HIV screenings.
According to the lawsuit, Gilead Sciences Inc. negotiated a form of bribery through the program that paid off doctor’s salaries through FOCUS grants, paid for patient travel to particular screenings, paid for provider’s medical software and laboratory equipment upgrades, paid and/or provided personnel to write prescriptions, and lastly, provided resources to propagate the effectiveness of their medications.
Tactical Price Hikes
Right around the time that Gilead’s TAF-based medications Odefsey and Genvoya were placed on the market, TDF-based medications like Complera and Stribild experienced a stark price increase of 7 percent, raising the prices up to $2,508 and $3,469 respectively. Other TDF-based drugs did not receive a price increase.
The timing couldn’t have been better for the pharmaceutical company. Raising the prices on these two TDF-based drugs right when they were about to lose patents on them helped to persuade doctors and patients to switch to Odefsey and Genvoya, which netted them more business.
Another Whistle-Blower Lawsuit: Campie v. Gilead Sciences Inc
In 2017, U.S. ex. rel. Campie v. Gilead Sciences Inc. was filed under a False Claims Act by whistle-blowers stating that the pharmaceutical company lied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to secure approval for several of the drugs they were manufacturing.
In this particular case, Gilead lied to the FDA about sourcing their active ingredients for certain medications from approved, registered facilities in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and South Korea. Instead, to save money, Gilead sourced these ingredients from China and worked to actively conceal it.
Essentially, the company acquired approval through deceptive means, covered up test failures, and concealed problems with contamination of the drugs. The suit, unfortunately, would later be dismissed in court, as it was determined that it wasn’t a valid claim under the False Claims Act.
The Atripla Class-Action Lawsuits
Back in May 2018, personal injury actions were filed by two sets of Californians. The individuals had HIV and were using Gilead’s Atripla, another TDF-based HIV medication. The individuals taking the medication stated that the pharmaceutical company had known about the side effects that they suffered from since at least 2001, claiming the medication was “…highly toxic in the doses prescribed and risked permanent and possibly fatal damage to the kidneys and bones.”
A separate class-action lawsuit was also filed against Gilead, claiming the same side effects and complications but opening up litigation for “All persons in California who were prescribed and ingested Viread, Truvada, or Atripla from October 26, 2001, through the present, who were personally or whose physician was exposed to Gilead’s misrepresentations.”
Gilead Sciences Is Harming the Users of Their Medications Just to Make a Dollar.
There is no better time to hire qualified legal representation than right now, especially if you have fallen victim to Gilead Sciences questionable business practices.
If you have sustained bone complications like low bone mineral density, tooth decay or loss, osteopenia, or osteoporosis, you need an experienced Truvada lawsuit attorneys to help you get the compensation you need.
If Gilead’s negligent and fraudulent actions caused you to develop kidney complications or failure, we can help you with that, too.
At The Law Offices of A. Craig Eiland, PC, you can expect us to help you fight for compensation that covers:
- Medical Expenses (past and present)
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Earnings
- Emotional Trauma
- Loss of Quality of Life
- Wrongful Death
Our lawyers are adept at using quality legal tactics designed to win maximum monetary compensation. With years of legal experience in product liability, dozens of professional relationships in the medical and scientific communities that can give us a better understanding of what your suffering from, and compelling legal strategies that can help us accurately determine liability, we can help you win your Truvada lawsuit.
Be sure to see a doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of the aforementioned complications, and secure all medical documentation.
Professional legal excellence you deserve. Contact The Law Offices of A. Craig Eiland, PC to schedule your FREE legal consultation with our qualified Truvada lawsuit attorneys today.