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A panel of federal judges has ordered that all Propecia lawsuits filed in federal district courts throughout the United states will be transferred to one judge for coordinated pre-trial proceedings as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
On April 16, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized the Propecia MDL before U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
The decision affects at least nine lawsuits currently pending in six different federal district courts nationwide, but that number is expected to grow, particularly after the FDA’s recent announcement that Merck will update the Propecia warning label to include information on the potential risk of long-term sexual dysfunction.
All of the complaints contain similar allegations that Merck failed to adequately warn that
side effects of Propecia could cause permanent and devastating sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, infertility and impotence.
Although prior warnings provided with Propecia suggested that these problems typically resolve, many men have continued to suffer these side effects long after the medication is no longer used.
In addition to the federal consolidation, a number of Propecia lawsuits have been filed at the state level. In March, the Supreme Court of New Jersey centralized all complaints filed in the state before Superior Court Judge Jessica R. Mayer in Middlesex County, but declined to designate the Propecia litigation as a mass tort.