HIV Drugmaker Gilead to Face Negligence Claims Concerning Bony and Kidney Injuries
Gilead must face 24,000 claims in TDF HIV medication proceedings, according to appellate court ruling rejecting the company’s pleas for immunity.
In an important victory for plaintiffs in the Gilead TDF HIV medication litigation, G&E and co-counsel scored a win in the California Court of Appeal allowing the injury cases to proceed to trial. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny Gilead’s motion for summary judgment adjudication on the plaintiffs’ negligence claims. Notably, the opinion clarifies the law on negligence and duty in California to protect plaintiffs in all such cases.
Thousands of patients allege that Gilead’s tenofovir disoproxyl fumurate (TDF) drugs, which include Truvada®, Viread®, Atripla®, Complera® or Stribild®, led to bone and kidney injuries. They also claim that the drug manufacturer withheld a safer version of the drug to treat effects of HIV infection in order to reap huge profits, and was negligent in its legal duty to protect its consumers.
Plaintiffs allege that in 1991, Gilead obtained a license to develop tenofovir, a potent antiretroviral substance that would treat HIV/AIDS. Thought it was approved by the FDA in 2001 for the treatment of the immune system virus, TDF use carries a risk for skeletal, dental, and kidney damage. TDF has been linked to bone density issues, which may lead to bone density loss and fracturing, as well as kidney disease.
While Gilead was developing TDF, however, it discovered an alternative version of the drug called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). TAF drugs are thought to be more stable in the body than TDF, and contain a lower, safer dose of tenofovir—reducing the risk of kidney and bone injuries. According to lawsuits filed against Gilead, the company intentionally withheld the TAF drugs from the market for over a decade until the patents on the TDF drugs were set to expire to protect its monopoly even though Gilead knew the TAF drugs were safer. By delaying the development of TAF, Gilead could maximize sales of TDF, securing billions in profit. In doing so, thousands of HIV patients unnecessarily developed kidney and bone injuries.
This vindicating ruling from the California Court of Appeal has affirmed plaintiffs’ claims that Gilead has a responsibility to provide patients with the safest available medications. Gilead had attempted to skirt liability and secure immunity for itself, but now must defend its conduct and face the 24,000 plaintiffs in this coordinated proceeding who allege they suffered side effects from their use of Gilead’s TDF medications.
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If you or a loved one took Truvada®, Viread®, Atripla®, Complera® or Stribild® and suffer from kidney disease, bone density loss or fractures, please contact our firm. We offer a free initial case evaluation. You can submit an online form or call us at (888) 984-7988 for a confidential evaluation of your potential claim.