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Science Day Scheduled For Taxotere Multidistrict Litigation

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New Orleans, LAA multidistrict litigation of hundreds of Taxotere lawsuits alleging that the chemotherapy drug Taxotere causes permanent hair loss continues to move forward in federal court with a "Science Day" scheduled in May.

US District Judge Kurt Engelhardt on March 24 issued a pre-trial order instructing the court to convene a Science Day on May 3, 2017 so that both parties can explain medical and scientific issues significant to the Taxotere multidistrict litigation (MDL).

The federal judicial system employs Multidistrict litigation to manage large numbers of complex lawsuits related to each other by transferring those cases to one judge for discovery in advance of trial.

The number of Taxotere MDL cases in the US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, began with an order to transfer 33 lawsuits to that court in Oct. 2016. By Jan. 2017, the number of transferred Taxotere lawsuits had swelled to 776 cases.

The Louisiana multidistrict litigation centers on the claims of hundreds of plaintiffs who allege that after they received Taxotere during cancer treatment, their hair never grew back.

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

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

Judge Engelhardt also ordered liaison counsel to provide a list of Taxotere cases that are currently pending outside the Louisiana multidistrict litigation and their status awaiting transfer to the MDL or pending in Delaware state court.

The next date for a status conference on the Taxotere MDL is May 12, 2017.

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