The hair growth drug, Propecia, was first approved in 1997 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When the drug was first introduced into the market, a number of researchers and doctors expressed concerns about Propecia’s severe side effects.
According to John Peige of the Baltimore Courts Examiner, one of these doctors who expressed serious concerns about Propecia was “well-known hair-restoration expert L. Lee Bosley.” Dr. Bosley publicly “denounced” Propecia, saying that the drug had serious side effects and health concerns. Dr. Bosley is quoted in Business Wire headlined, “Supposed Miracle Baldness Cure Creates Serious Health Concerns Among Hair Restoration Professionals,” saying:
"The FDA has just approved a drug that has the capability to impair male sexual performance, creating the inability to achieve an erection [and] decreases libido… The potential side effects, especially the long-term side effects of the drug, should be the overriding concerns to both the users and the manufacturer."
It was only a few years later when Dr. Bosley allowed his doctors to recommend Propecia to patients. Even while the Bosley Medical group knew of the dangerous side effects Propecia had, they did not warn patients who were prescribed this drug. The doctor was aware of the complications and dangers associated with Propecia and yet he nonetheless allowed his doctors to prescribe it. Bosley Medical has about 70 offices in the US, Mexico, China and Canada.
The FDA issued a safety alert warning in June 2011 regarding Propecia. The warning indicated that there was a 63% risk of a serious form of prostate cancer or those patients who used Propecia. The warning also said that the use of propecia and other 5-ARI class drugs may decrease the overall risk or chance for men of developing lower risk forms of prostate cancer; however, the use of the same drugs has shown to increase the risk for men of high-grade prostate cancer.
Propecia has since updated its safety label to reflect the high-grade prostate risk. Along with the risk of high-grade prostate cancer, the risk of erectile dysfunction has been associated with the use of propecia. Victims from across the country have said that within weeks they have developed impotence issues; those problems last well after the victims have stopped taking Propecia.
The FDA ordered Manufacturer Merck and Co. on April 11 to revise the labeling on Propecia in order for it to reflect that the medication can cause continued sexual dysfunction after patients have stopped taking it. The FDA reviewed 421 Propecia-related sexual dysfunction cases finding that 14% of the cases lasted longer than three months after the patients stopped taking the drug.
Patients who were prescribed Propecia should have been warned of the persistent sexual side effects and increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer, but they were not. Merck and Co. and Bosley Medical had a legal and ethical responsibility to research all possible risks associated with Propecia and then warn consumers of any adverse side effects. The drug company and medical group did not do so, and innocent people have suffered as a result. Victims of Propecia injury deserve compensation for physical, financial and emotional burdens caused by Merck’s and Bosley Medical’s irresponsibility.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer or has suffered from sexual issues after taking Propecia Manufacturer Merck and Co. contact our attorneys for a free case evaluation and consultation. Our experienced team of drug injury lawyers will work closely with you and see to it that you are compensated for your injuries.