Popular HIV drugs-with key ingredient Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate-and their drugmakers have become subject of litigation. Here’s what is happening.

What is Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate?

Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (TDF) is a prescription antiviral drug approved for the treatment of HIV infection. It is also used to treat chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV). TDF works by decreasing the amount of HIV and HBV in the blood. It is not intended to cure HIV, but it might reduce the likelihood of developing AIDS and other HIV-related illnesses.

TDF is manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc., whose TDF-based HIV medications include Viread, Truvada, Atripla, Complera and Stribild. These products are big money-makers, comprising of about 67 percent of the Gilead’s revenue. In 2018, the company made $14.6 billion from these HIV drugs alone.

What are the Risks?

There are many serious side effects associated with taking Gilead’s TDF-based drugs, including:

  • Lactic acidosis
  • Liver enlargement
  • Worsening hepatitis B virus
  • Decreased bone mineral density
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
  • Kidney damage and reduced kidney function

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a black box warning on TDF-based medications for individuals treating HBV. The agency warns that if an individual has HBV and takes TDF, but then discontinues use of TDF, their HBV could flare up and become worse.

State of the Litigation

Gilead faces many lawsuits alleging the company’s TDF-based drugs caused plaintiffs to suffer from kidney disease and bone density loss. Gilead is also accused of knowing these drugs may potentially cause serious side effects while purposefully delaying a safer, more effective version of the medication called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). The drugmaker allegedly stalled the release of TAF to maximize profits from TDF.

So far, lawsuits are pending in five federal courts in Louisiana and California, as well as California state court. Two of these legal actions were filed against Gilead in California in May 2018. Two individuals who used TDF medications filed a personal injury action after suffering bone and kidney injuries. They claim the company has known as far back as 2001 that the drug is highly toxic. Additionally, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all Californians “who were prescribed and ingested Viread, Truvada, or Atripla from October 26, 2001, through the present, who were personally or whose physician was exposed to Gilead’s misrepresentations.”  The two individuals who filed this lawsuit also suffered from bone and kidney injuries after taking TDF-based medications to treat their HIV.

Join the Tenofovir Litigation

Law firms looking to engage with the Tenofovir litigation, or similar campaigns, are likely to experience a large influx of inquiries from potential clients. Make sure your client intake system is ready to respond, or consider working alongside a legal call center.

A call center, like Alert Communications, can help your firm more effectively capture and convert the additional leads that come in when undertaking a large-scale campaign. Also, if you have a list of potential clients, Alert can do outbound call campaigns to turn them into actual clients, potentially on first contact.