Lawsuit Alleges Diminished Quality of Life from Propecia Side Effects
A 24-year old man has filed a lawsuit suing Merck, alleging that he suffered permanent sexual dysfunction and a substantially diminished quality of life as a result of the side effects of Propecia, a prescription medication sold for treatment of male-pattern hair loss.
The Propecia lawsuit was filed by Paul Blankenship on March 12, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
According to allegations raised in the complaint, Blankenship began taking Propecia in February 2011, when he was 23, to restore hair loss and improve his quality of life. After using the prescription medication for only about nine months, he indicates that he has been left with permanent erectile dysfunction, impotence, emotional and cognitive impairment, which has affected both his personal and professional life.
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Blankenship is one of a growing number of men in the U.S. who have filed a product liability lawsuit over Propecia sexual side effects, alleging that Merck failed to adequately warn men in the United States that they may suffer long-term impotence and infertility from Propecia.
Warnings provided to consumers and the medical community in the United States suggest that erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems that may occur with Propecia are temporary and resolve after men stop taking the drug. However, the drug carries stronger warnings in a number of other countries, providing information about reports of persistent erectile dysfunction, which have continued in some men even after the medication is discontinued.
Recently, Merck took down their dedicated web site for Propecia, leading some to wonder whether the company may be revising the warning label or even considering a Propecia recall.
For more than a month, Merck has displayed a message on their Propecia.com website, indicating that the “website is not currently available”, providing links to the current prescribing information, patient product information, the Propecia Persistence Program and a link encouraging visitors to report any negative side effects of Propecia to the FDA’s MedWatch program.
On March 29, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is scheduled to hear arguments over whether the Propecia litigation should be consolidated before one judge for pretrial proceedings. Dozens of lawsuits have already been filed, and some expect that hundreds of additional complaints will be brought in the coming year by otherwise health young men have experience sexual dysfunction and damage to their quality of life.
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