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Number of Taxotere Multidistrict Litigation Cases Surpass 1,100

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New Orleans, LAA Louisiana multidistrict litigation (MDL) that began in 2016 with less than three dozen transferred Taxotere lawsuits has now swelled to more than a thousand pending cases.

The Louisiana Taxotere MDL In Re: Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2740, US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana concerns the claims of hundreds of plaintiffs who claim that their hair never grew back after they received Taxotere during cancer treatment.

The federal court system uses multidistrict litigation to centralize and manage large numbers of complex lawsuits related to each other by transferring those cases to one judge for discovery in advance of trial.

The Taxotere MDL started out in October 16, 2016 with an order to transfer 33 lawsuits to the US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. By January 2017, the number of transferred Taxotere lawsuits had burgeoned to 776 cases. In the past few months, hundreds of additional Taxotere lawsuits have been transferred to the Louisiana MDL since the lawsuits were centralized under one judge in 2016.

Taxotere, approved by the FDA in 1996, is a chemotherapy drug administered intravenously and used to treat breast cancer, non-small lung cancer and prostate cancer. Taxotere has several possible side effects that include low blood cell count, allergic reactions, fluid retention, gastrointestinal problems and hair loss.

"In most cases normal hair growth should return," but also notes that "In some cases (frequency not known) permanent hair loss has been observed," according to drug manufacturer Sanofi's Taxotere current prescribing information.

As of May 10, 2017, there were 1,116 cases pending in the MDL with US District Judge Kurt Engelhart, according to a May 12 joint report of liaison counsel for the MDL. Three companies that were originally named as defendants have now been dismissed in all cases pending in the MDL, according to court documents.

One of the parties, Apotex Inc., submitted proof that it did not manufacture Docetaxel. The other entities, Northstar RX LLC and Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc., submitted proof that they didn't manufacture Docetaxel until after the infusions alleged by individual complainants.

The next general status conference for MDL committees with be held on July 7, 2017.

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