Recent federal lawsuits have been filed against the drug manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis for failing to warn women that its drug, Taxotere, leads to permanent and irreversible hair loss. Taxotere is administered to cancer patients in order to stop cells from reproducing, which slows the growth of cancer. Particularly, Taxotere is administered to women fighting against breast cancer.
Sanofi did not warn women that a significant side effect of Taxotere was permanent, disfiguring hair loss. From the time Taxotere was approved in 1996, Sanofi failed to include a warning that one of the side effects was permanent hair loss. In fact, Sanofi insisted that “hair generally grows back” after women take Taxotere. In 2005, Sanofi learned that 9.2% of Taxotere patients’ hair did not grow back ten years after their chemotherapy treatments. Despite knowing its effects, Sanofi continued to sell Taxotere without warning patients, doctors, or the FDA until December 2015, when it included a warning that “in some cases (frequency not known) permanent hair loss has been observed.”
Thousands of women have taken Taxotere fully expecting that their hair will grow back. Cancer patients know that they will lose their hair, but are uniformly told that their hair will grow back after their Taxotere treatments. Sadly, for many women their hair is never the same. Women report complete or partial baldness, as well as the loss of their eyebrow hair and eyelashes, after taking Taxotere. Having beaten cancer, these women suffer constant emotional anguish and are forced to spend thousands on unsuccessful hair treatments and wigs.
Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP is investigating claims against Sanofi on behalf of women who have suffered permanent hair loss after taking Taxotere. If you or someone you know has suffered from permanent hair loss following their cancer treatment, please contact Daniel Bryson or Patrick Wallace at 919-600-5000. You can find a copy of the recently filed federal lawsuits here and here.