Who Is Behind the Truvada Lawsuit?
Every day, people take medications and trust that the pharmaceutical companies designed and manufactured the drugs with patient safety in mind. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case when drug companies prioritize profits over people.
If you’re taking Truvada now or have taken it in the past, you may suspect that you’ve faced more harm than good from this drug. The people behind the Truvada lawsuit are other people who have taken this medication and suffered side effects like bone density loss and kidney damage.
Who Takes Truvada?
Truvada is a PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) drug, which is formulated from two generic medications: tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine.
Doctors can prescribe Truvada for several purposes, including the following:
- To treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as well as hepatitis B
- To reduce the risk of acquiring HIV in those who are not infected with the virus
People who already have HIV and are looking to treat its symptoms may take Truvada. Alternatively, Truvada may be taken by people who have a partner with HIV or are looking for additional protection from a sexually transmitted HIV infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), men and women can take Truvada. The medication is named as the only medication approved to be used by women who have vaginal sex. Physicians may also prescribe this medication to transgender men for use and non-binary people who have vaginal sex.
Who Manufactures Truvada?
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead) manufactures the drug Truvada. The company makes two primary formulations of the medication: Truvada and Truvada for PrEP.
Additionally, the company makes other TDF-based medications used to treat or prevent HIV infection. These include Atripla, Complera, Viread, and Stribild.
Who Can File a Truvada Lawsuit?
If you’ve faced serious health problems because of Truvada use, you might be able to file a lawsuit. It can be hard to understand what constitutes a valid case for a lawsuit on your own, however.
If you seek a case review from a law firm, it will review your situation for the following signs that you could bring a suit:
- You were prescribed Truvada and used it as intended. You could also have a case if you were prescribed another TDF medication made by Gilead, such as Atripla.
- You were harmed after using Truvada. Many people bringing claims against the manufacturer have faced bone density loss and kidney damage or kidney failure.
- You suffered damages as a result. Damages may include financial or non-financial losses, such as medical bills.
Also, it will be important to back up these claims with evidence. To seek compensation, you should have medical documentation of the health damage you suffered from Truvada use.
People Who Filed Lawsuits
There are currently hundreds of lawsuits filed by those who claim damages resulting from Truvada use. These lawsuits have not yet gone to trial, but they have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation action in Northern California.
Failure to Warn and Defective Design Claims
People behind the Truvada lawsuits are bringing several claims against the manufacturer. These plaintiffs allege that Gilead:
- Released Truvada with design defects that cause serious harm to bone and kidney health
- Was aware of the potential dangers of the product but did not sufficiently warn doctors and patients of the risks
- Kept Truvada on the market to make a profit when another, safer formulation was available
What Are the Health Risks Associated with Truvada?
One of the main medications in Truvada, tenofovir, is a commonly prescribed form of antiretroviral HIV medication. However, research shows several potential health complications associated with tenofovir’s use, including kidney damage, renal failure, lactic acidosis, and decreased bone density.
Not everyone who uses Truvada will experience these outcomes. However, researchers say patients should be monitored for these complications to prevent the most serious consequences.
These include the following:
Kidney Damage and Renal Failure
A study released by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) noted that using tenofovir-based medications, including Truvada, can lead to the following health risks:
- A 34% higher risk of yearly increases in urine protein content
- An 11% higher risk of kidney function decline
Researchers noted that these risk factors were consistent, no matter the patients’ age or other potentially complicating health factors, such as having diabetes. However, other studies have suggested that TDF use can lead to worse outcomes for people with poorer baseline kidney function. (AIDS Research and Therapy)
Additionally, these patients continued to be at a heightened risk for kidney dysfunction, even after discontinuing their use of tenofovir medication. This risk remained heightened for as long as six months to one year after discontinuing the drug. The long-term effects of kidney function decline can be serious. A study published in AIDS notes that tenofovir-based medication can increase patients’ risk for three kinds of kidney disease events, which could affect patients’ lifelong kidney function.
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
Some people behind the Truvada lawsuits experienced these symptoms of kidney failure (Healthline):
- Reduced quantity of urine
- Swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Coma or seizure
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should speak with your doctor right away.
Another potential complication of TDF-based medications is an especially risky health condition: lactic acidosis. This occurs when kidney decline has progressed to a point where the kidneys cannot filter lactic acid out of the blood. The buildup of lactic acid in the body can lower the body’s acidity, which can result in organ failure. The condition can even be deadly.
BMJ reports a case study of a patient who died from lactic acidosis after using a tenofovir drug. The report suggests that her condition became fatally serious after tenofovir interacted poorly with didanosine, another HIV medication she was taking.
Decreased Bone Density and Osteoporosis
People who take Truvada have not only reported kidney damage but another type of complication: bone density loss. Studies have shown that TDF-based medications can increase the likelihood of bone mineral density loss and even contribute to an increased risk of fractures. Low bone mineral density may lead to an osteoporosis diagnosis.
Some estimates indicate that TDF drugs could increase bone density loss by 1% to 3% compared to other similar drugs in its class. (Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS)
Symptoms of Bone Density Loss
If you’re facing the following symptoms of osteoporosis, you should talk to your doctor (Mayo Clinic):
- Stooped posture
- Gradual loss of height
- Back pain
- Easily broken bones
Should I Stop Taking Truvada Because of Its Dangers?
After learning more about Truvada’s potential side effects, you may be concerned that the risks outweigh the benefits. It is important to consult your doctor if:
- You are experiencing any concerning symptoms, such as those related to kidney failure or bone loss.
- You are concerned about the potential of the above-listed health complications.
- You’d like to consider switching from Truvada to another HIV medication.
You should not stop taking Truvada unless and until you speak with your doctor about your health concerns. For many people, Truvada provides a crucial health benefit. Your doctor may advise that these benefits are more important than the potential risks in your case.
On the other hand, your doctor may listen to your concerns and monitor you for any changes in kidney function or bone density. Additionally, they may be able to recommend an alternative HIV medication, such as Descovy.
Truvada Lawsuit: Legal Claims for Bone Loss and Kidney Failure
If you are dealing with bone loss and kidney damage because of Truvada use, you could file a lawsuit and seek compensation against the manufacturer, Gilead.
People behind the Truvada lawsuit are claiming compensation for the following types of damages:
Dealing with serious health problems such as kidney failure, bone fractures, or osteoporosis can require immediate and ongoing care. To address or reverse the damage caused by taking Truvada, you may need to seek care such as:
- Emergency room visits
- Specialist or other doctors’ visits
- Diagnostic testing
- Physical therapy
These costs and losses could be compensable, including past, present, and future medical expenses.
Other Financial Losses
Your financial losses after a serious health problem could be extensive. You could seek compensation for the following:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Missed opportunities for promotions
- Out-of-pocket costs for medical equipment or transportation
Impacts on Quality of Life
An injury is not just physical. You could recover compensation for the following impacts on your well-being:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced enjoyment of life
What Is the Current State of the Truvada Litigation?
Initial lawsuits against Gilead for Truvada damages were brought in 2018. As of spring 2022, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Gilead, which makes Truvada.
These have been consolidated into a larger case known as a multidistrict litigation (MDL) action. The case will proceed through the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California as MDL-2881.
Bellwether trials, which are the first trials in an MDL, are scheduled for June 2022. There have been no settlements yet in the case.
What You Should Know About Joining an MDL
If you file a lawsuit against Gilead for Truvada damages, you could join the MDL. When you work with a Truvada lawsuit attorney, they can explain how an MDL works and how they will help navigate your case through this legal process.
For now, you should know that an MDL offers certain advantages to plaintiffs, including the following:
- Strength in numbers. An MDL is created when many plaintiffs have similar cases against one entity. This allows plaintiffs to build a stronger case collectively based on the strength of their numbers.
- Unique damages are possible. Every claimant in an MDL has their own unique case. Plaintiffs will be able to preserve the uniqueness of their lawsuit when they join an MDL, then seek damages according to the seriousness of their harm.
Benefits of Hiring a Truvada Lawsuit Lawyer for Your Case
Many people behind the Truvada lawsuit have chosen to work with a personal injury lawyer. This is because a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company can come with many challenges. An attorney understands the MDL process and how to advocate for your best interests throughout.
To seek the best possible results for your case, you may want to work with a lawyer. They can:
- Investigate your case and gather compelling evidence
- Gather expert witness testimony to show a link between your health condition and Truvada use
- Explain what forms of compensation you could seek and negotiate a settlement
- Handle all communications in the case so that you don’t have to
- Represent your interests throughout litigation
- Advise you on all your legal options
- Ensure your case is on track to comply with state law
An Attorney Can Gather the Strongest Evidence Possible
One of the most challenging aspects of a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company is demonstrating a link between your health condition and the drug you took.
This is where a lawyer’s help can be particularly valuable. They have experience gathering evidence to make these kinds of arguments. They can use records such as your medical history, lab results, and statements from your doctor to show how Truvada affected you.
Then, they can gather additional medical expert testimony to support the link between your health problems and Truvada use. So, they may be able to get testimony from an HIV treatment specialist or another expert. The stronger the evidence in your Truvada case, the more likely you can successfully seek compensation through a lawsuit.
Truvada Lawsuits: No Fees Unless the Lawyer Collects Awards for You
Typically, lawyers will help people behind the Truvada lawsuit by working for them based on contingency. This means many lawyers will not require upfront fees to get started with your Truvada case.
Instead, they will receive a percentage of your settlement or award only upon successful resolution of your case. In other words, if they don’t win, you won’t have to pay. All law firms have unique contingency fee agreements, however, so it is important to understand the details before you hire a firm.
Contact a Truvada Lawsuit Lawyer’s Team Today
In addition to working with a lawyer on contingency, you could get a free case review. Many law firms will explain your legal options at no charge to help you understand how to move forward with your case.