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When a drug company puts profits ahead of HIV patients

Patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have come a long way since the early days after their disease was discovered. There are whole new classes of drugs available that can help them remain well and live full lives.

Unfortunately, many of those patients could have been leading even better lives if they'd had access to the safer, more effective drug that was purposefully withheld from the market in the name of profits.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., the major pharmaceutical manufacturer who controls the distribution of HIV drugs containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), knew that an alternative medication called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) could treat HIV better than its big money-maker. In addition, TAF doesn't cause any of the serious side effects that come along with TDF, including:

  • Major dental damage
  • Osteoporosis
  • Broken bones
  • Damaged kidneys
  • Kidney disease
  • Renal failure
  • Other orthopedic injuries

Not only did HIV victims needlessly suffer from these complications on top of their existing condition, but many people without HIV were also sickened by TDF drugs such as Truvada. HIV-negative patients who were enrolled in an infection-prevention program were also exposed to TDFs in the name of company profits.

Gilead misrepresented the effectiveness and safety of TDF-based medications to physicians, the medical community in general and patients, essentially deceiving them into believing that nothing was better or less-toxic than TDFs. Meanwhile, Gilead quietly shelved the TAFs for nearly 15 years in order to pull the new drug out just in time to extend its exclusivity on tenofovirs with the United States Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) approval.

It can be difficult to know if you were exposed to a TDF drug in the past without checking your medical records and pharmacy records, especially if you've had a lot of medications in your lifetime. If you're unsure if your bone, dental or kidney damage is related to TDFs, it may be time to find out more. Contact our office for additional information about your rights.

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Reich & Binstock - Pharmaceutical Injury & Class Action Lawyers

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Houston, TX 77027

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