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Propecia injury attracts international interest

The study of sexual dysfunction linked to the use of the male pattern hair loss drug Propecia has been spreading globally, according to the growing number of nations whose surfers have pointed their web browsers at a U.S.-based source of information. While this has been going on, a growing number of injured patients have filed Propecia lawsuits.

The Post-Finasteride Syndrome Foundation reported Jan. 6 that traffic from 120 foreign nations visited in 2013, which was up from 85 foreign countries in 2012. The organization cited Google Analytics as the source.

The top five nations, ranked by the number of visitors to the website, were the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Canada and Japan.

The nonprofit's twofold objective is to raise funds for scientific and clinical research into the sexual disorders associated with the use of Propecia, the generic name of which is finasteride. The organization refers to the constellation of conditions as a collective "post-finasteride syndrome."

Those who used finasteride-containing drugs, such as Merck's Propecia and prostate drug Proscar, knew that infertility was an adverse event that arose during clinical trials. What patients did not know, from the 1990s when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drugs until 2011 when the FDA pushed for labeling changes, was that the life-changing side effects lingered after the use of finasteride was discontinued.

Patients took unforeseen risks about which the manufacturer either knew or should have known and about which it should have warned.

Not everybody has quietly accepted fate. Some have hired attorneys, filed a Propecia lawsuit and sought compensation for their medical expenses and other losses.

As of Dec. 16, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated 739 Propecia lawsuits before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Anyone who has suffered erectile dysfunction that outlasted the use of Propecia may be entitled to compensation.

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