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Truvada Lawsuits

Truvada is a prescription drug used for the treatment and prevention of HIV. Truvada and similar HIV drugs have been around since the early 2000s, but recent scientific research has shown that long-term use of Truvada can cause serious kidney problems and loss of bone density. Individuals who used Truvada for HIV treatment and subsequently suffered kidney damage, bone weakness, or other injuries are now filing Truvada lawsuits and seeking financial compensation. Our Truvada lawyers are actively seeking new cases from qualified plaintiffs across the U.S.

About Truvada

Truvada is manufactured by the California biopharma company Gilead Sciences Inc. Truvada was first released in the U.S. in 2002 at which time it was one of the very first of a new generation of drugs used to treat and prevent the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

For those already living with HIV, Truvada serves as a means to effectively manage and control the virus, slowing down its typical progression. Additionally, it reduces the likelihood of individuals with HIV transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.

Truvada is also prescribed for individuals who are HIV-negative but face a high risk of acquiring the virus, either due to having a partner with HIV or engaging in regular unprotected sex. In this context, Truvada plays a preventive role, helping users avoid the initial development of HIV.

Health Risks of Truvada

When Truvada was first released it was part of a new and unique family of antiviral drugs containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate or “TDF.” Truvada and other TDF drugs work by blocking the RT enzymes inside the body that HIV virus cells use as fuel to grow. The problem with TDF is that it is very harsh on the user’s body.

When Truvada first came on the market, Gilead included a “soft” warning in the drug label naming kidney issues and bone density loss as potential (but not serious) side-effects of the drug for some users. It soon became apparent, however, that this was a major understatement of the actual risk and harm level of these side effects. Kidney damage and bone density loss turned out to be very common side effects experienced by most users of Truvada and they were also much more serious than Gilead suggested.

In fact, at least 1 year before Truvada was first released in the U.S., drug development group at Gilead was already well aware that Truvada was inherently harmful and that TDF could actually destroy the bones and kidneys. Studies done after the drug was released have since conclusively linked long term use of Truvada to kidney damage and boss density loss.

Truvada Causes Bone Density Loss

Research indicates that the use of Truvada can expedite the decline in bone density typically linked to HIV. A 2011 study revealed that individuals utilizing Truvada experienced a statistically significant reduction in bone mineral density compared to a control group. This decline in bone density among Truvada users correlated with a notably increased incidence of bone fractures, attributed to weakened and brittle bones. The extent of this risk concerning bone density loss and the elevated likelihood of fractures was considerably higher than initially disclosed by Gilead.

Truvada Causes Kidney Damage

Studies have further confirmed that prolonged Truvada usage can result in substantial harm to the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney failure. A 2012 research study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, highlighted the pronounced detrimental effects of Truvada on kidney health. Notably, daily Truvada consumption was associated with a 33% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Users of Truvada experienced significant impacts on renal function.

Gilead’s Failure to Warn

By the time Truvada received approval for use in the U.S. in 2002, Gilead was already aware that TDF carried greater harm than initially disclosed. Recognizing these concerns, Gilead promptly initiated the development of a newer and safer iteration of TDF named tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF). TAF, essentially an improved version of TDF, was designed to eliminate the dangerous side effects associated with its predecessor.

By around 2002, Gilead had completed the development of TAF and acknowledged not only its enhanced safety profile but also its increased efficacy in slowing the spread of HIV. However, the advent of TAF posed a business dilemma for Gilead.

Having invested billions in Truvada and other TDF drugs, with patent protection extending for the next 11 years, Gilead faced the prospect of TAF’s immediate release undermining the market for Truvada and other TDF drugs. This would entail sacrificing a decade of patent-protected sales.

Rather than prematurely curtailing profits from Truvada, Gilead made a strategic business decision to delay the introduction of the safer TAF drug until the patent protection on TDF drugs like Truvada was nearing expiration. While Gilead could potentially have released the safer TAF drug as early as 2004, they chose to withhold study results indicating TAF’s safety and waited until 2015, just before the Truvada patent’s expiration, to unveil this significantly safer HIV drug.

Truvada Lawsuits

Since around 2018, Gilead has been confronted with a growing number of product liability lawsuits related to Truvada. There are two primary allegations of misconduct by Gilead at the heart of these lawsuits:

  1. Gilead deliberately withheld information and failed to provide adequate warnings about the genuine health risks associated with Truvada (and other TDF drugs).
  2. Gilead developed a safer alternative drug but opted to withhold its release until the expiration of Truvada’s patent to maximize financial gains.

The lawsuits assert that Gilead had a legal obligation to promptly introduce the TAF drugs once their safety superiority over existing TDF drugs became apparent. Gilead faced a choice between prioritizing profits and prioritizing patient health and safety. Evidently, they chose to prioritize profits. By intentionally postponing the release of the safer alternative TAF drugs, Gilead exposed patients to an additional decade of toxins known to cause damage to the bones and kidneys.

Contact Us About a Truvada Lawsuit

If you suffered kidney damage or bone issue from taking Truvada, you may be able to file a lawsuit and get compensation. Contact us today at 888-310-3010 or contact us online.