Tenofovir disoproxil fumarite (TDF) drugs designed to treat the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are marketed under a variety of names, including Truvada, Atripla, Viread. They’ve been a longstanding component of successful HIV treatment for many years for many people afflicted with this potentially deadly disease.
It turns out, however, that the cure came with its own dangers — and the drug manufacturer, Gilead, knew exactly what those dangers were and could have offered patients a safer alternative that was less toxic.
Class Action for Hiding Known Side Effects of TDF Drugs
According to a class-action lawsuit by two patients in California, Gilead knew back in 2001 that patients taking its TDF drugs were in danger of permanent or fatal damage to their bones and kidneys. Patients have suffered broken bones, osteoporosis and renal failure. Gilead neither warned the patients nor their doctors. In fact, Gilead is accused of actively misrepresenting both the risks and the usefulness of TDF. It was far from the “Miracle Drug” that Gilead marketed it to be, nor was it “benign” or “extremely safe” — all words that the drug company’s salespeople used to describe it.
Perhaps worst of all, Gilead may have purposefully contrived to keep other — much safer — drugs off the market sheerly to maximize its profits via the TDFs and hold onto its market share. Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) drugs are a viable alternative treatment without the same deadly or destructive consequences.
Pharmaceutical companies have an inherent duty to provide consumers and doctors with accurate information about the drugs that they make. When they fail to warn consumers of serious dangers and don’t use less-dangerous alternatives when possible, they should be held liable for the injuries they’ve caused.