Class Action Lawsuit Targets Merck’s Finasteride Products

According to a class action lawsuit currently leveled against Merck & Co. Inc. and Merck Harpe & The Dohme Corporation, more than 50 individuals are claiming that male pattern baldness treatments are responsible for catastrophic complications. Subsequently, the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit are claiming that they have suffered from persistent sexual dysfunction after Merck failed to adequately warn them about potential side effects. The lawsuit, consisting of more than 50 people from 22 states, was consolidated on January 27 in a St. Louis Circuit Court.

Propecia was introduced to the U.S. market in 1997 by the global pharmaceutical powerhouse Merck & Co. Upon conception, Propecia gained approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat male pattern baldness on the vertex and the anterior mid-scalp area. Similar to that of Propecia, are Proscar and generic inasteride, each manufactured by Merck & Co. Inc. and Merck Harpe & The Dohme Corporation.

Finasteride, the active ingredient found within these three hair treatments, belongs to a class of medications known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. As a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, finasteride treats male pattern hair loss by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp, which prevents hair growth. DHT is a substance in the body that can shrink hair follicles until they no longer produces visible hair. Accordingly, Propecia, Proscar, and finasteride each promote steady hair growth on the scalp.

However, the recent class action lawsuit against Merck alleges that finasteride may coincide with severe complications. Each complaint acknowledges the use of Propecia, Proscar or finasteride to treat male patter baldness. The medications allegedly contained finasteride, an ingredient that causes an “increased risk of persistent and/or serious and dangerous side effects,” the complaint reads. The following is a comprehensive list of the complaints mentioned in the current lawsuit:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Persistent sexual dysfunction
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Reduced libido
  • Reduced sensation
  • Infertility

The complaints points are founded by a recent study. According to the study, subjects reported new-onset persistent sexual dysfunction associated with the use of finasteride: 94% developed low libido, 92% developed erectile dysfunction, 92% developed decreased arousal, and 69% developed problems with orgasm. The mean number of sexual episodes per month dropped and the total sexual dysfunction score increased for before and after finasteride use according to the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (P < 0.0001 for both). The mean duration of finasteride use was 28 months and the mean duration of persistent sexual side effects was 40 months from the time of finasteride cessation to the interview date.

While warnings suggesting the risk of erectile dysfunction are apparent on Propecia and Proscar labels in other countries, U.S. products have yet to add such language. According to complaints, Merck has knowingly and actively hidden or denied the truth about the side effects. They say the manufacturers are negligent for creating a dangerous drug and for marketing it to patients without being forthcoming about its possible risks. Subsequently Merck has been accused of fraudulent concealment, strict liability, negligence, breach of express warranty, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

The class action finasteride lawsuit is seeking more than $100,000 in compensation and punitive damages, along with a jury trial.

Do I Have a Finasteride Lawsuit?

The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in finasteride lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has been injured by products containing finasteride you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.