According to the Prince George Citizen (4/3/13), Michael Miller was 25 when he was prescribed Proscar 5 mg. Court records indicate he was advised to cut the 5 mg tablet into four pieces, making it roughly the same dosage as the 1 mg found in the more expensive Propecia.
Miller had been taking the cut-down Proscar for about a month in 2008 when he began experiencing issues akin to Propecia side effects in men - this, according to a written decision from the pen of BC Supreme Court Justice Robert Punnett, in a ruling issued March 28. “Approximately one month after using Proscar the plaintiff alleges he experienced a diminished sex drive,” said Justice Punnett. “Over the ensuing months, he became completely disinterested in sexual activity and was unable to maintain an erection.”
Proscar (finasteride) is prescribed to treat prostate cancer. However, finasteride was also found to have a positive impact on male pattern baldness (MPB), giving young balding men a treatment option that quickly grew in popularity. While Propecia patients held fast to the promise of a slowing of their MPB, no one was prepared for what was to follow for many Propecia users: a diminished sex drive and Propecia impotence.
Miller, according to the report, conducted some online sleuthing and discovered that other Propecia and Proscar patients were experiencing the same Propecia side effects - and for some, adverse reactions that continued long after finasteride was stopped.
Undaunted, Miller stopped taking Proscar at the end of January 2009, hoping that his alleged symptoms would eventually disappear. When they didn’t, Miller launched his finasteride class-action lawsuit.
Miller asserts that Propecia and Proscar manufacturer Merck was aware of the potential for Propecia long-term side effects, but failed to adequately warn consumers. Warning labels mandated by Health Canada, the equivalent to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), referenced “so-called side effects” identified as “uncommon and do not effect most men” that could potentially include impotence, decreased semen and problems with ejaculation. The plaintiff holds that such warnings were insufficient.
There was also allegedly no mention of prolonged Proscar impotence or Propecia long-term side effects continuing after medication was stopped. Health officials in Sweden were reported to have asked Merck in 2007 to include in product labeling the possibility of persistent erectile dysfunction after the medication was discontinued. Merck is said to have agreed to the label change for the Swedish market in 2008.
READ MORE PROPECIA LEGAL NEWS
Last November, while reporting Q3 earnings, Merck revealed the existence of 265 Propecia lawsuits in New York and New Jersey alone.
The Canadian class-action lawsuit was approved in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Docket S110437, on March 28 and awaits certification. As of March 5, there were 140 actions pending in the Propecia MDL (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, MDL 2331 - IN RE: Propecia (Finasteride) Products Liability Litigation).