TDF HIV Drugs Lawsuit

Gilead withheld a less toxic version of their TDF drug in order to maximize profits, lawsuits allege. 

Our attorneys are pursuing legal action against Gilead Sciences for allegedly withholding safer HIV drugs from the market in order to maximize profits.

Gilead Sciences is the leading manufacturer of HIV drugs worldwide. They manufacture tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) antiretroviral drugs—Truvada, Viread, Atripla, Complera, and Stribild—used to treat HIV. Thousands of patients have complained of kidney and bone injuries after taking TDF drugs.

Lawsuits allege that Gilead Sciences manufactured a less toxic version of the drug to minimize side effects but withheld it from the market for more than a decade. The drug—tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF), brand names Odefsey and Genvoya—was allegedly tested in clinical trials in 2002, but wasn’t released until 2015, shortly before TDF’s patent expired.

Gilead Delayed Development of Safer Drug By a Decade

TAF drugs could be used at one-tenth the dose of Viread, drastically decreasing the toxic side effects that patients were suffering from.

TDF-based drugs have been on the market since 2001 when the FDA approved Viread. Since then, Gilead has also brought TDF drugs Truvada, Atripla, Complera, and Stribild to market. 

TDF drugs have been extremely profitable for Gilead, earning them a combined $11 billion in sales in 2017 alone. But, they come with a number of severe side effects, like increased risk of kidney disease and a 40% increased risk of bone fractures. 

Gilead owns 80% of the anti-retroviral drug market, so many HIV patients were virtually left with no other choice than to continue taking TDF despite its risks. Gilead knew this all too well, and though they began development of a less toxic drugtenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF)—in 2001, they stopped development in 2004. 

TAF drugs could be used at one-tenth the dose of Viread, drastically decreasing the toxic side effects that patients were suffering from. Once TAF was available, patients would likely have switched to the new drug, driving TDF off the market before Gilead’s patent exclusivity expired.

Instead, Gilead waited until 2012 to resume TAF development, allowing them to maximize TDF profits. The FDA eventually approved TAF in 2015, just two years before TDF’s patent expired in December 2017.

Gilead Hiked TDF Prices Prior to Patent Expiration  

Critics argued that the TDF price hikes were a clear attempt to get doctors and patients to switch to the newly patented TAF drugs, Odefsey and Genvoya.

Shortly after TAF-based drugs Odefsey and Genvoya came on the market, Gilead raised the prices for their older TDF-based drugs Complera and Stribild.

The prices for a month’s supply of Complera and Stribild were raised by 7 percentup to $2,508 and $3,469 respectively. Gilead didn’t raise the prices for Odefsey and Genvoya which remained at $2,346 and $2,578 for a month’s supply.

The timing of the price hikes raised alarms in the HIV community since it occurred just as Gilead was about to lose their exclusive hold on TDF. Since the older TDF drugs were now more expensive than TAF drugs, critics argued that it was a clear attempt to get doctors and patients to switch to the newly patented Odefsey and Genvoya before Gilead lost business to generic competitors.

Gilead’s Profit-Driven Actions Go Against Ally Reputation  

Gilead’s involvement in the AIDS community makes their negligence even more alarming. 

Through the Gilead Foundation, they support AIDS nonprofits like the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Africa and the West Alabama AIDS Outreach. Some of their executives even sit on the boards for organizations like Aids United.

While Gilead has positioned themselves as an ally to the AIDS community, their business decisions communicate an internal priority of profits over patients.

Drug companies are legally required to minimize harm. If Gilead Sciences did indeed know of TDF’s harmful effects on the kidneys and bone density and they deliberately delayed the release of the less toxic TAF drugs, a court may find them at fault for patients’ injuries.

Who is Eligible to File a Lawsuit Against Gilead?

TDF-based drugs have been linked to nearly 20,000 reports of kidney disease and a 40% increased risk of bone fractures.

HIV patients who took a TDF drugTruvada, Viread, Atripla, Complera, and Stribildand suffered from a kidney or bone injury afterwards, may qualify for a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences.

Qualifying injuries include:

Kidney Injuries

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or declining kidney function
  • Acute Kidney Injury or Acute Renal Failure
  • Fanconi’s syndrome
  • Tubular dysfunction

Bone Injuries

  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Bone fractures

Why File a Lawsuit?

Filing a lawsuit may help patients recover compensation to ease the financial burdens of their injury.

A lawsuit may help to recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of earnings (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering

We’re Holding Gilead Accountable

Pharmaceutical companies like Gilead Sciences shouldn’t be allowed to put profits over the safety of thousands of Americans, especially when patients are suffering from life-threatening conditions as a result of their negligence.

Our firm stands with HIV patients. That’s why we’re working with Ben Crump Law and Hilliard Martinez Gonzales to hold Gilead Sciences accountable for the harm they have done.

If you took Truvada, Viread, Atripla, Complera, or Stribild and suffered from a kidney or bone injury afterwards, you may be eligible for a lawsuit. Contact us to see if you have a case. It never costs a thing unless we win a settlement or verdict for you.

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