Attorneys for Plaintiff Jesse Mitchell told the Chicago jury they needed to throw the book at AbbVie over for the company’s continued marketing of AndroGel for unapproved or “off-label” uses. The prosecution alleged that AbbVie was well aware that AndroGel had not received approval to treat symptoms of testosterone deficiency caused by the natural aging process, but the company pushed its products for that purpose, anyway – big time.
AbbVie’s reckless and illegal advertising campaign for AndroGel yielded massive economic growth, from a paltry $50 million market in 2000 to a staggering $1 billion in 2010, all the while the company neglected to conduct a major clinical study investigating whether the drug increased cardiovascular risks until the FDA ordered one in 2015, according to the lawsuit.
The case marks the 4th bellwether trial in federal multidistrict litigation (mdl) 2545 in the Northern District of Illinois. Mitchell’s case was originally the first to go to trial last summer, but U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly ordered a retrial last month after finding that the original verdict was inconsistent.
The first jury ruled in favor of AbbVie regarding plaintiff’s claims of strict liability and negligence, but for him on the claim of fraudulent misrepresentation. They awarded him $150 million in punitive damages but no compensatory damages.
The lawsuit is: Mitchell et al. v. AbbVie Inc. et al. Case number 1:14-cv-09178.