For cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, hair loss is a common, much dreaded side effect for patients. For women especially, losing your hair can be an emotionally difficult experience. Some patients may even consider refusing chemo treatment so they can avoid the possibility of total hair loss.
However, the cancer-fighting benefits of chemotherapy are unmistakable. Patients who experience this form of hair loss, also known as alopecia, are told that it only happens during treatment. While going through their recommended treatment plan and enduring hair loss, they may daydream of the regrowth of their hair and how it will be a physical representation of their recovery. It’s something to look forward to during the emotional and physical difficulties associated with cancer treatment.
But what if your hair doesn’t grow back? Sadly, countless women and cancer survivors discovered to their shock that what was supposed to be a temporary side effect of a chemo drug called Taxotere turned into permanent hair loss — a condition called “Persistent Significant Alopecia” (PSA).
After bravely facing cancer treatment and the realization that their pre-treatment appearance may never be fully restored, these women are now fighting back. In fact, they’re going against the manufacturer of the drug, which failed to adequately disclose the risk of PSA as a side effect. Working with attorneys, these Taxotere users have engaged in legal action to get compensation for their suffering.
Hair Loss as a Side Effect of Deception
As mentioned above, hair loss after cancer treatment is nothing new. Chemotherapy drugs in particular are designed to attack some of the body’s cells while preventing others from dividing. This means both the good and the bad cells are destroyed. But unfortunately, it’s often the only choice cancer patients have when their body’s own cells turn against them.
The key word there is choice, though. Those who have been diagnosed with cancer are presented with information on their options and deliberately choose what they feel can provide them the best benefits compared to the drawbacks. Many of these drawbacks for chemotherapy drugs include symptoms such as nausea, joint pain, temporary hair loss, odd changes with your nails and taste buds and more.
When those in treatment for breast cancer were presented with the option to take a new drug called Taxotere, they were not given the information they needed to make an informed decision — information that would tell them how Taxotere has a good chance of making their hair fall out forever.
A Company’s Attempt to Brush Away the Truth
Had cancer patients known about Taxotere’s possible side effects, they may have braced themselves for the lifelong consequence. They may have also opted for another similar drug, like Paclitaxel, which has to be administered four times as often as Taxotere but has a much lower permanent risk of hair loss. Those in treatment may also have taken steps to reduce their risk of hair loss, using techniques like cold cap therapy. But all these choices require being given the information to make an informed decision.
Instead, Sanofi, the maker of Taxotere, allegedly minimized warnings of permanent hair loss to the lowest degree possible. They stated the risk of PSA as somewhere near three percent, when the reality was likely much higher. For instance, one study of 20 individuals being treated with Taxotere found that all 20 suffered permanent hair loss.
The psychological impact upon women like these cannot be overstated. Cancer survivors like Shirley Ledlie wrote about how they feel “devoid of any femininity,” with no hair of their own to ever style or brush again.
Those who are most upset are hitting back against Sanofi. Allegedly, the company deliberately hid research from the public regarding the side effects of their drug. They had even allegedly disclosed the risk of permanent hair loss to European physicians in 2005 and to Canadian physicians in 2012, according to related court documents, while failing to inform American patients until 2015 — almost 20 years after the drug was released.
Women All Over the Country Joining Lawsuits With Taxotere Attorneys
Unhappy with their involuntary makeover, cancer survivors are now joining forces with lawyers to allege that Sanofi failed to test Taxotere adequately, failed to publicly disclose side effects so providers and patients could make informed decisions, manufactured a hazardous drug, and several other torts.
Should their cases find success, they will still have to endure the permanent side effect, but they can at least feel like they have regained control of their life after having that control unexpectedly and unfairly taken away from them.
With Sanofi on the defensive, the time is now to file your Taxotere lawsuit. For a free consultation with an experienced taxotere attorney in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. Marie Napoli is a seasoned Taxotere Attorney accepting cases. Marie does not charge any upfront frees and can be contacted on twitter @NapoliLawOffice.