By Emily Cox
A new lawsuit indicates that the statute of limitations may have expired on some cases if breast cancer drug manufacturer Sanofi S.A. had come clean about the Taxotere’s permanent hair loss risk sooner.
Karen L. Greene filed the lawsuit Monday in the Eastern District of Louisiana. According to the lawsuit, Greene was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2013 and received treatment with Taxotere. She is alleging that Taxotere caused disfiguring permanent hair loss. The lawsuit also indicates that Sanofi overstated the effectiveness of Taxotere. It cites studies that show less toxic treatment to be just as effective as Taxotere. Furthermore, she claims that she may have chosen a different treatment if she had known all the facts about Taxotere.
Cancer Drug Statute of Limitations Discovery Extension
The lawsuit indicates that normally it may have been too late for Greene to file a lawsuit against the cancer drug’s manufacturer. However, statute of limitations does not begin to run until an individual discovers that a certain product or drug caused an injury. Since the company concealed the cancer drug’s risks, Greene could not have realized Taxotere caused her injuries until much more recently.
While Sanofi S.A. disclosed the risk of permanent hair loss to foreign patients and regulatory agencies as e
arly as 2005, it did not disclose these risks to American patients until late 2015. This disclosure only applies to breast cancer patients receiving the drug from that time on. Former patients must come upon this information for themselves, which could be significantly later.
The lawsuit also alleges that Sanofi S.A. aggressively and fraudulently overstated the effectiveness of Taxotere. However, the company was aware that studies showed less toxic treatments were just as effective. Consequently, Greene could not make an informed decision regarding her cancer care. Also, she could not have known she had better options available until recently either.
Breast Cancer Drug Lawsuits
Greene’s case joins the rapidly growing multidistrict litigation against Sanofi. These breast cancer survivors alleging that Sanofi put profits before patients, unnecessarily exposing them to the increased toxicity of Taxotere in order to increase profits from the cancer drug.