More than one million Americans currently live with HIV, and government estimates report that as many as 39,000 new infections occurred in 2017 alone. Since 2012, the rate of new infections has remained relatively constant in the United States, meaning the number of people living with HIV in the U.S. is steadily growing.
It is possible to transmit HIV through sexual contact or blood transfusion, and anyone diagnosed with HIV needs to know what to expect when it comes to treating and living with the condition. They should also know what to do if they have taken any of the dangerous HIV drugs released by Gilead Sciences and know their options for legal recourse.
Dangerous HIV Drug Leads to Litigation
Recently, 41 plaintiffs from various states filed suit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against Gilead Sciences, the company responsible for the development and manufacture of the HIV drug Tenofovir Disoproxil (TDF). This antiviral drug commonly appears under the brand names Vemlidy and Viread, and the lawsuit alleges that Gilead Sciences was negligent in the production and sale of these substances.
The new lawsuit alleges that Gilead was aware of the highly toxic nature of TXF, specifically that the drug could cause irreversible damage to patients’ bones and kidneys. The lawsuit also alleges Gilead intentionally withheld a safer version of TDF, tenofovir alafenamide, also called TAF. This withholding occurred simply due to the fact that TDF is cheaper to produce and more profitable than TAF.
The Complaints against Gilead Sciences
This lawsuit has yet to be filed in a Federal District Court, but it is very likely to happen in the near future. The core of the suit is the fact that Gilead knew about the toxic nature of TDF yet released it anyway and prioritized its development over a safer alternative in pursuit of higher profits.
Viread and Vemlidy, the brand names of TDF, qualify as nucleoside analogs, substances which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have identified as capable of causing lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, and these effects have directly caused fatalities. Gilead Sciences essentially sold dangerous HIV drugs to ensure profitability when a safer but less lucrative alternative was easily available for release.
The primary complaint against Gilead Sciences includes plaintiffs from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
If you or a loved one has taken Viread, Vemlidy, or TDF under any other name, you may be entitled to compensation if the drug had any adverse effects on your health. The attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, and Boissoneault Co., L.P.A. can help you determine your eligibility to join a class-action lawsuit already in progress or assess your individual legal rights to compensation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our potential recovery after suffering adverse effects from dangerous HIV drugs.