French drug manufacturer Sanofi Aventis has been under fire as of late in relation to its chemotherapy drug Taxotere. The company has been the subject of lawsuits from breast cancer patients for not warning them of a serious side effect of the drug—permanent alopecia. Although hair loss is one of the common side effects of chemotherapy, taxotere has reportedly resulted to permanent hair loss.

The serious side effects of taxotere had not been known until December 2015 when the FDA has issued a warning on its label for its possible adverse reactions. Before that time, taxotere was the most popular drug used in chemotherapy. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, approximately 10 – 15% of women who used taxotere during treatment reported no hair growth for as long as ten years after stopping treatment.

Sanofi Aventis made around $1.4 billion per year for selling Taxotere. However, it was made at the expense of cancer patients who depended on the drug for survival and a possible chance of prolonging their life. Most of the lawsuits centered around Sanofi’s failure to determine the safety of Taxotere and its failure to warn patients of the risks associated with Taxotere. The plaintiffs also claimed that Sanofi misled them by saying that their hair will grow back but it did not. According to the plaintiffs, if they had known of the risks, they would have used other drugs for their treatment.

Taxotere can have serious consequences on a cancer patient. It could affect them emotionally and financially as well. If not for the drug, the patient would still have been earning much for their family. The good news is that there is still hope and those who have suffered may be able to recover damages and make the responsible parties liable for what they have done.

Taxotere lawsuits are covered by statute of limitations depending on the state so you must file the case within the time frame for filing a lawsuit.


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Taxotere, (with the generic name, Docetaxel) is a cancer medication that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of a variety of cancers including non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, and head and neck cancer.

Taxotere belongs to a family of chemotherapy drugs known as plant alkaloids. Chemotherapy is a form of treatment where cancer cells are killed; this is done by stopping cell division. Taxotere works by damaging the RNA or DNA, which informs the cells how to copy themselves while they divide. Cells that fail to divide die, resulting to the shrinking of cancerous tumors.

Some chemotherapy drugs are called cell-cycle specific; these are drugs that affect cells but only when they are dividing. Taxotere is one kind of drug that is cell-cycle specific. As a chemotherapy drug, it affects the blood cells that are found in the mouth, stomach and bowel, and hair follicles; this can result in low blood count, mouth sore, nausea, diarrhea, and/or hair loss (affected part of the body depends on the type of drug used).

For the past couple of years, women, who suffered from breast cancer and had been treated with Taxotere, have continuously surfaced to file lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer of Taxotere. The lawsuits filed are based on the drug’s side-effect, called alopecia, or permanent hair loss.

According to the law firm Williams Kherkher, Taxotere had been used to treat about 75% of all women in the U.S. who have, or formerly had, breast cancer. One big question they all ask is why, despite the availability of alternative chemotherapy drugs that were at least as -if not more – effective, doctors continued to recommend Taxotere without even informing them of the significantly increased chance of permanent hair loss.

Aside from loss of enjoyment of life, permanent baldness in women can also lead to psychological damage, additional medical expenses, and lost wages for cancer survivors who only wish to return to a normal life.


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