The multidistrict litigation regarding the breast cancer drug Taxotere took a momentous step forward with the appointment of Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC). The Chief Judge of the U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Honorable Kurt D. Englehardt, issued an Order on the Taxotere multidistrict litigation leadership appointments that will last for one year. After that time, appointees will either be replaced or renewed. For plaintiffs in the litigation, the appointment allows their cases to move forward in their fight to hold the manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, responsible.

What Is Taxotere?

Taxotere, known by its chemical name Docetaxel, is a drug commonly used to treat breast cancer. Approved by the FDA in 1996, Taxotere became a popular choice in chemotherapy, but unfortunately it comes with some permanent side effects. The drug can cause alopecia, or permanent hair loss.

While temporary hair loss can be common with chemotherapy, some patients taking Taxotere never experience hair regrowth. The permanent disfigurement causes extreme emotional distress in patients trying to return to a normal life after battling a deadly condition.

What makes permanent hair loss from Taxotere all the more tragic is the fact that there are other breast cancer treatments proven just as effective if not more so in fighting in cancer.

Sanofi-Aventis knew about the risk of permanent hair loss as far back as 2004, when they warned European and Canadian doctors. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the company warned American doctors and patients.

Patients who suffered permanent hair loss believe Sanofi-Aventis should be held responsible for its negligence. Because Taxotere is used by as much as 75% of breast cancer patients, it is likely the number of lawsuits will continue to grow as the litigation moves forward.