The legal battle between Sanofi Taxotere and 12,000 litigants claiming their chemotherapy left them with permanent hair loss goes on. This week saw a remarkable twist as Sanofi lost a fight to prevent a former FDA chief testifying against them. We take a closer look at the Sanofi hair loss trial latest news.
Sanofi, headquartered in Paris, is the world’s fifth-largest pharmaceutical business according to prescription sales. It has grown huge through a series of mergers and acquisitions and last year saw revenues of nearly $40B. Its assets now stand at well over $100B. The world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines is also an important player in the world of chemotherapy. Recently, that chemotherapy business ran into some trouble. A few patients began to complain that the treatment they had undergone, provided by Sanofi and called Taxotere, was responsible for their permanent hair loss. Despite this possibility not being listed as a potential side-effect. Those complaints gathered energy as more and more Taxotere patients came forward making the same complaints. Eventually, the case was picked up so that today there is a case going through the courts in America featuring 12,000 litigants. High time we took a look at the Sanofi hair loss trial latest news.
Sanofi engaged in attempts to have the case thrown out before it ever reached a jury, but the case moved on. Since then they have resorted to motions aimed at delay or restricting the ability of the litigants to call witnesses. But this week saw some significant wins for those litigants.
First, there was a federal judge who denied a request from Sanofi for another delay in proceedings. The litigants were upset by this request because Sanofi had already been granted an extension back in May. It should be remembered that these extensions have a tragic impact on some of those 12,000. Many of those 12,000 are living with terminal illnesses and any delay in receiving justice is deeply unwelcome.
In another remarkable twist, Sanofi had sought to bar testimony from the former head of the FDA. Dr. David A Kessler. They argued that his testimony might confuse a jury, Sanofi has also been fighting for the case to be heard in front of judges rather than a jury. On the grounds that it might be a bit complicated for a jury to understand the case fully. The good news for the litigants is that the judge threw out the motion from Sanofi and the jury can now look forward to hearing from Dr. Kessler.
HIS Hair Clinic
We talk to and meet hair loss sufferers every day. Typically, they are victims of nothing more than their genes. It is impossible not to feel for the litigants in the Sanofi case. A case we have been following closely since we wrote about it in May, click here to see that article. Already at their lowest ebb they then have to endure a treatment that resulted in unheralded and permanent hair loss. Factor in that many of the litigants are literally dying while they wait for justice and it makes the Sanofi approach, at least for the layman looking on, completely untenable. Some have already passed away. Others already know they will not live to see the outcome. Sanofi’s fear of a jury is almost certainly well-founded, hard to imagine a man or woman off-the-street being too impressed with the actions of Sanofi. We hope, for the sake of all those sufferers, that this comes to a rapid conclusion.
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