Permanent Alopecia, Serving as a Constant Reminder to Patients of Their Struggle against Breast Cancer

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Taxotere Lawsuit | 0 comments

In an article posted in the website drugwatch, one breast cancer patient in the U.S. remarked, “The painful reality is that I will forever look like a cancer patient.”

A breast cancer patient who was treated with Taxotere (Docetaxel – Generic name) the woman (who made the comment) now suffers from permanent alopecia, or permanent hair loss. Though hair loss is an expected consequence in chemotherapy treatment, a patient can also expect that her hair will grow back within three to six months after treatment has ended. In treatments where Taxotere was used, however, the consequence has been unusual, with patients suffering from permanent, instead of temporary, loss of hair.

Taxotere, an intravenous chemotherapy drug that is manufactured and marketed by Sanofi-Aventis, was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for treatment of breast cancer, in 1996 (on August 19, 2004, the FDA approved Taxotere Injection Concentrate or TAC regimen, this time for the post surgery treatment of patients with operable, node-positive breast cancer. This TAC regimen is aimed at reducing risk of breast cancer relapse).

The permanent loss of hair suffered by Taxotere patients serves as a constant reminder of their struggle against cancer. Though many have survived their otherwise deadly condition, what angers these same individuals is the fact that they were never given the chance to prepare themselves for permanent loss of their hair as they (and their doctors who were likewise never made aware of this Taxotere side-effect) were kept in the dark by Sanofi-Aventis regarding the increased risk of permanent alopecia. Had they been informed of the risk, they would have preferred another drug that was as effective as Taxotere, but which did not cause the same side-effect.

As explained by the law firm Williams Kherkher, 75% of all women who have, or formerly had, breast cancer were treated with Taxotere under doctor’s recommendations. Many of these women, who now suffer from permanent alopecia, have filed lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis, alleging that the manufacturer knew about the side-effect, yet deliberately hid it from patients and doctors to maintain and still increase its sales. Aside from this, the lawsuits also claim that Sanofi-Aventis failed to properly warn patients of the toxic side effects of Taxotere.

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