RSS
TwitterFacebook

Melanoma Risk from Viagra Outweigh ED Benefits, Lawsuit Claims

Contact A Lawyer

Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

While millions of men throughout the U.S. have been prescribed Viagra for treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), a lawsuit recently filed against Pfizer alleges that the risk men may develop melanoma from side effects of Viagra outweighs the benefits associated with treating this non-life-threatening sexual condition.

In a complaint (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on July 25, Martin D. Mayer indicates that he was diagnosed with the aggressive and potentially life-threatening form of skin cancer after using Viagra for several years to treat erectile dysfunction.

The case joins a growing number of similar Viagra cancer lawsuits filed by men nationwide, each involving similar allegations that Pfizer failed to adequately warn men or the medical community about the potential melanoma risk, or the importance of monitoring for signs and symptoms of the development of skin cancer while using the medication.

Mayer indicates that he started taking Viagra in January 2012, and continued to use the medication through June 2015. However, in August 2014, he had a shave biopsy conducted on his lower left leg, which was then diagnosed as melanoma. The next month he had to undergo a wide local excision of the melanoma on his leg, and must now remain vigilant in monitoring his skin for signs of the cancer’s return for the rest of his life, the lawsuit indicates.

The complaint indicates that Mayer had no way of knowing about the link between Viagra and melanoma, alleging that he would have avoided the diagnosis if Pfizer had provided warnings, as he would not have used the medication for treatment of erectile dysfunction.

“Erectile dysfunction is not fatal, nor does it present any related symptoms or characteristics harmful to one’s physical health,” the complaint filed by Mayer notes. “Viagra was useful to some members of the population; namely men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. However, Viagra also encourages the development of melanoma in the body of a user, thereby placing them at a significant health risk.”

Viagra Melanoma Litigation

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) was introduced by Pfizer in 1998, and it has become one of the most widely recognized brand-name medications on the market in the United States, used by millions of men to treat impotence and sexual dysfunction, including the inability to develop or maintain an erection.

Since its approval, Viagra has been prescribed to an estimated 35 million men, and is widely marketed direct-to-consumers, encouraging men to ask their doctors for a prescription if they have trouble obtaining or maintaining an erection.

While the medication is generally believed to be safe by most users and doctors, independent studies released in recent years have found a melanoma risk with Viagra, suggesting that the erectile dysfunction drug may reduce the body’s ability to resist the spread of the skin cancer.

In the mounting Viagra litigation emerging in courts nationwide, plaintiffs allege that if Viagra skin cancer warnings had been provided, they may have avoided serious and sometimes fatal cases of melanoma by catching the condition earlier if warnings had been provided, or by electing not to use the prescription treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Given the similar questions of fact and law raised in lawsuits over Viagra filed throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) recently established consolidated pretrial proceedings, centralizing all cases before U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in the Northern District of California. The move is designed to reduce the risk of duplicative discovery into common issues in the cases, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different courts and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the judicial system.

Mayer’s case will be included in the Viagra MDL, where it is expected that a small group of “bellwether” cases will be scheduled for early trial dates to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that may be offered throughout the claims.

Mayer presents claims of negligence, failure to warn, defective design, breach of warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment and negligent misrepresentation. He seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.

Tags: , , , ,

  • Share Your Comments

  • Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

    Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.
  • NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Contact A Lawyer

Contact A Lawyer

Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.