This is the fourth AndroGel trial against AbbVie in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) where over 6,200 lawsuits are centralized.
All of the lawsuits were filed by men who had heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots after using testosterone products like AndroGel for “Low T.”
Last summer, another jury awarded the plaintiff, Jesse Mitchell, $150 million in punitive damages against AbbVie — but in February, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly ordered a retrial, saying the original jury was confused about whether AndroGel caused his heart attack.
Lawyers are asking the new jury to award Mitchell at least $130,848 for his medical expenses, and suggested punitive damages of at least $1 million to punish AbbVie, a drug-maker currently worth $5.1 billion.
Testosterone naturally drops by 1-2% per year in men from age 30 to 50 years old. AndroGel was never approved to treat age-related drops in testosterone, but AbbVie advertised AndroGel for that use anyway.
AbbVie blasted TV airwaves with ads for “Low T,” telling middle-aged men to talk to their doctors about AndroGel as a cure-all for the natural symptoms of aging — including low libido, falling asleep after dinner, erectile dysfunction, decreased sports performance, and more.
The advertising campaign pushed testosterone therapy from a $50 million market in 2000 to $1 billion in 2010. Meanwhile, AbbVie failed to study whether AndroGel increased the risks of heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots until the FDA ordered a clinical trial in 2015.
Thousands of lawsuits accuse AbbVue and other drug-makers of pushing testosterone drugs as a “fountain of youth” for aging men without adequately studying whether the drugs might be dangerous.
The lawsuit is Mitchell et al. v. AbbVie Inc. et al. — Case No. 1:14-cv-09178, and the MDL is In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.