Concerns Over Low-T Drug Risks Impact Drug Sales: Report

Sales of testosterone drugs continue to drop industry-wide, as fears over the potential risk of “Low T” treatment side effects cause men to reconsider using the drugs and regulators to encourage doctors to only prescribe the medications to men with a true medical need. 

Market-research firm IMS Health reports that testosterone sales in the first half of 2014 fell by six percent when compared to the same time the year before, according to a story in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Last week, the pharmaceutical company AbbVie reported a similar drop in sales of Androgel, which is the most widely used Low T drug, but has seen sales drop 15.6% in the second quarter and 6.7% in the third quarter of this year.

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The declining sales highlight a dramatic reversal from previous years, with sales of testosterone drugs growing by 10% in 2013 and prescriptions increasing five-fold from 2000 to 2011.

Sales appear to have been falling steadily since November 2013, when concerns surfaced about potential heart risks with low T drugs, following the publication of a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which found that certain users of testosterone replacement therapy may be more likely to experience heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death.

In late January, the FDA launched a testosterone safety investigation, which has resulted in a panel of independent advisors recommending that the agency limit Low T drug prescriptions for use among men with a true medical need, suggesting that many men take the medications for age-related drops in testosterone levels that do not require medical treatment.

Testosterone Drug Lawsuits

Since concerns about the testosterone risks surfaced, a growing number of Androgel lawsuitsTestim lawsuitsAxiron lawsuits and other Low T drug lawsuits are now being pursued against the manufacturers of these medications, alleging that potential side effects of the medications were not properly researched and that adequate warnings were withheld from consumers and the medical community about the potential heart risks.

Most of the complaints involve similar allegations, indicating drug makers aggressively promoted testosterone boosting treatments for use among men who had no real medical need. Plaintiffs indicate that use of testosterone drugs caused them to suffer a heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or other serious injury, including many wrongful death lawsuits.

As the number of complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide has continued to grow, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation established coordinated pretrial proceedings for the cases last month, centralizing all testosterone litigation before U.S. District Judge U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois.


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