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Tenofovir (TDF) Lawsuits

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Tenofovir lawsuits are being filed by people who have taken Gilead’s HIV drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and have been diagnosed with kidney disease and/or bone density loss. The TDF lawsuits claim that Gilead knew that their TDF drugs could harm users but elected to withhold a less toxic and arguably more effective version of the drug (tenofovir alafenamide fumarate or “TAF”) in order to maximize the profits from its line of tenofovir drugs.

If you or a loved one took TDF and have been diagnosed with either kidney disease or bone density loss (osteopenia or osteoporosis) contact us for a free consultation.

At Trustwell Law, our experienced attorneys take a personalized, compassionate approach. We cut through the legalese and partner with our clients. We have access to the expertise, resources, and manpower to fully investigate each case and fight for and with our clients to get the justice they deserve.

If you are looking for a TDF attorney, call us at 800-796-1636 or submit your case details online and someone will contact you shortly. You pay nothing unless your lawsuit is successful and you receive compensation.

What are TDF Drugs?

Gilead’s HIV drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is one of a class of antiretroviral drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. (The HIV virus is a “retrovirus”—meaning RNA (not DNA) is its genetic material—so drugs to fight HIV are classified as “antiretroviral” drugs.) Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme crucial to the replication and progression of HIV. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors like TDF do exactly what their name suggests: they impede, or slow, the activity of reverse transcriptase.

When used with other medicines, TDF drugs can slow the progression of HIV, keeping HIV-positive people healthy for years according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

HIV-positive people must take antiretroviral drugs. Not taking those drugs is not an option, regardless of their side effects.

There are five Gilead TDF drugs available to people with HIV:

  • Truvada®
  • Atripla®
  • Complera®
  • Stribild®
  • Viread®

Why Are TDF Lawsuits Being Filed?

TDF lawsuits allege that Gilead delayed developing and introducing a less-toxic antiretroviral drug with fewer side effects (TAF), thereby exposing HIV-positive patients to the TDF drugs with their highly detrimental side effects for years longer than necessary.

Here is an illuminating timeline of Gilead’s drug development/marketing of these drugs:

  • 2001: Gilead’s first TDF drug (Viread) was introduced.
  • 2001: Gilead started to develop a less toxic but similar drug—tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF).
  • 2003: Gilead added a warning label on their TDF drugs alerting physicians and users about possible side effects.
  • 2004: Gilead introduced Truvada and stopped developing the less-toxic TAF
  • 2006: Gilead introduced Atripla.
  • 2010: Gilead began to work on TAF
  • 2011: Gilead introduced Complera.
  • 2012: Gilead introduced Stribild.
  • 2015: Gilead released its first TAF drug, Genvoya®, to the public. Gilead promoted its TAF drugs as having fewer side effects than TDF, which Gilead had apparently known for many years.

The lawsuit against Gilead claims that people who took Gilead’s TDF drugs were subjected to their extra toxicity for years due to Gilead delaying their work on the safer alternative. It appears Gilead stopped working on the safer TAF alternative in 2004 to maximize their profits from TDF before making another, safer drug available to the patients who have no choice but to take antiretrovirals.

TDF Drugs and Kidney Failure

Patients taking Gilead’s TDF drugs have an increased risk for kidney failure. Kidneys are vital organs. They filter our blood, sending waste out in the form of urine.

Kidneys are resilient organs; when damaged they adapt to keep working. So, by the time a person with kidney disease experiences issues and discovers the damage, it is often permanent and irreversible. In the worst cases, people with kidney failure need either dialysis, which involves a machine cleaning their blood, or a kidney transplant.

Symptoms and consequences of kidney failure include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Itchy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Swollen feet and/or ankles
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal protein levels in the urine (found by diagnostic testing)
  • High creatinine levels (found by diagnostic testing)
  • Abnormal glomerular filtration rate (GFR) levels (15 to 90) (found by diagnostic testing)
  • Death due to renal failure

TDF Drugs and Bone Density Injuries (Osteopenia or Osteoporosis)

Several studies have found a correlation between TDF use and bone density loss. Healthy bone tissue never stops growing. New tissue grows to replace older tissue. But when the old tissue deteriorates faster than the new tissue can grow, or when new tissue stops growing completely, osteoporosis can develop. Osteoporosis is a bone condition where bones are so weak that minor pressure or what would normally be an insignificant fall can cause them to break.

Osteopenia is a condition that precedes osteoporosis. Many HIV patients who have taken TDF drugs claim they have developed osteopenia or osteoporosis.

Common symptoms of osteoporosis and osteopenia include:

  • Back pain
  • Stooped posture
  • Loss of height
  • Bone fractures with a diagnosis of bone weakening or demineralization
  • Bone density loss, bone demineralization, or weakening of the bones found by diagnostic testing

Contact a TDF Attorney

If you or a loved one have taken any of Gilead’s TDF drugs (Atripla, Complera, Stribild, Truvada, or Viread) and have since been diagnosed with kidney problems or bone density loss, contact us. You may be eligible for compensation.

 Consult your doctor before stopping any prescribed medication.

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