Taxotere and Permanent Alopecia – What They Knew, When They Knew It
When you were told that you or a loved one had breast cancer, you undoubtedly found it painful to cope with this devastating news. More than likely, you lacked the desire or strength to research Taxotere (docetaxel), other chemotherapy options, and the potential adverse effects that these drugs could cause. After all, don’t our doctors, the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA know how best to treat medical conditions? Unfortunately, we don’t always know the whole truth until it’s too late.
What They Knew
Taxotere (docetaxel) is a synthetic chemotherapy drug that was introduced to the market in January 2005 by Sanofi-Aventis to treat breast cancer. Unfortunately, women started reporting that after completing chemotherapy treatments, their hair wasn’t growing back. Some women had only wisps of hair, others had just a light fuzz and many were completely bald and didn’t even grow back their eyelashes or eyebrows.
In an article published in the American Journal of Dermatopathology, researchers discovered that six out of ten cancer patients who were diagnosed with permanent alopecia had taken Taxotere. Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Colorado stated that 6.3% of their breast cancer patients grew back less than 50% of their hair after taking Taxotere. In a report published by the Annals of Oncology, scientists proved that, “severe and permanent female hair loss, especially scalp alopecia, is a new and rare cutaneous side-effect of the sequential FEC–docetaxel regimen used for early breast cancer adjuvant treatment.”
When They Knew It
The problems is that Sanofi-Aventis knew that permanent alopecia was a significant risk to its users and warned patients in Europe and Canada. However, it was marketed in the U.S. without a warning FOR TEN YEARS before the FDA had a warning put out in December 2015 (and it was located on page 32 out of 64 pages! Who reads that!?!)
What Can You Do?
Sanofi-Aventis clearly disregarded study findings and patient complaints. They deliberately failed to warn U.S. patients of the risk of permanent alopecia. There are other chemotherapy medications available that do not pose the long term risk of permanent alopecia, but patients weren’t given the full disclosure to make the best choice. If you had breast cancer, were prescribed Taxotere (docetaxel) and were diagnosed with permanent hair loss, you may be able to make a claim. Not only did you suffer from having cancer, but now you are spending countless dollars on expensive wigs or on other products to help you manage this difficult situation. It’s not your fault that you have permanent alopecia and we want to help you to determine if you are able to receive financial compensation.