Federal Courts Anticipate Massive Nationwide Litigation Over Sexual Side Effects of Hair Loss Drug Propecia

An influx of adverse event reports has tainted the once pristine name of a flagship Merck & Co. product. Subsequently, the popular hair loss treatment known as Propecia (generic: finasteride) has become the subject of increasing criticism due to a growing association with catastrophic complications. Of significant concern, however, is Propecia’s recent link to the development of persistent sexual side effects. Numerous Propecia lawsuits have been filed on behalf of men who claim to have suffered from such complications following Propecia treatment. In response to the growing litigation, the United States Judicial Panel has decided to consolidate all federal court Propecia cases from around the country and transfer them to New York.

Having received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1997, Merck has distributed Propecia prescriptions to millions of men around the world. Following approval, Propecia was indicated to assist in the treatment of male pattern baldness on the vertex and the anterior mid-scalp area.

Finasteride, the active ingredient contained within Propecia, 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 promotes steady hair growth on the scalp.

However, the mechanism of action responsible for the inhibition of such hormones may coincide with lasting complications. The introduction of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor such as finasteride may result in the irreversible development of endocrine system failure. Post-drug reactions such as this have become synonymous with lowered testosterone, LH, and FSH hormone levels. Should the balance of hormones remain uneven, several common human functions may become hampered or even obsolete.

Of significant concern, is the development of persistent sexual side effects that follow Propecia treatment. Accordingly, men that have taken Propecia have reported the following complications:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Genital shrinkage
  • Bodily disfigurement
  • Gyneocomastia
  • Penile fibrosis
  • Depression
  • Low libido
  • Problems with ejaculation
  • Impotence
  • Testicular pain
  • Prolonged erectile dysfunction
  • Male breast cancer

In response to the influx of sexual complications, courts across the United States have begun to anticipate a massive nationwide string of litigation regarding these side effects. As a result, the United States Judicial Panel has decided to centralize the current multi-district litigation facing Merck. According to a transfer order, centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

The Judicial Panel has decided to centralize this litigation in the Eastern District of New York. This district provides a convenient and accessible location for these cases in which actions have been filed throughout the country regarding a product that was marketed nationwide. Because Merck is headquartered in nearby Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, the Eastern District of New York is close to where relevant evidence and witnesses are likely located. Furthermore, all of the current allegations acknowledge that use of Propecia causes persistent sexual dysfunction in a subset of men who took the drug, even after they discontinued its use.

Do I Have a Propecia 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 Propecia lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has suffered from persistent sexual dysfunction after taking Propecia, 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.