A federal lawsuit has been filed in the state of California by a woman who blames her permanent hair loss on the popular breast cancer chemotherapy drug, Taxotere. Ami Dodson claims the drug manufacturer and corporate giant, Sanofi-Aventis, engaged in a fraudulent marketing scheme to drive sales while hiding this serious side effect of the drug.
“Defendants obtained billions of dollars in increased revenues at the expense of unwary cancer victims simply hoping to survive their condition and return to a normal life.” With other chemotherapy drugs widely available, she says she would not have used the drug had she been made aware of the potential side effect.
“Permanent baldness is a disfiguring condition, especially for women,” said Dodson. “Women who experienced disfiguring permanent alopecia as a result of the use of Taxotere suffer great mental anguish as well as economic damages, including but not limited to loss of work or inability to work due to significant psychological damage.”
It has been alleged that Sanofi-Aventis knew as early as the late 1990’s that Taxotere could cause permanent hair loss but went to great lengths to hide the problem. The claim also cites a warning letter issued by the FDA in 2009, as the company continued to market the drugs’ “superior efficacy” although a 2008 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that a competing drug was actually more effective for certain patients.