Everyone knows that women who endure chemotherapy for breast cancer often lose their hair. The good news for these patients is that the hair usually grows back 4-6 weeks after stopping chemotherapy. Taxotere is a drug manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis that causes permanent hair loss in a notable percentage of patients who use the product (about 10%).
Taxotere was actually rushed to the market to compete with Taxol which is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Taxotere was marketed to doctors as being better in fighting cancer compared to its competitor Taxol.
In fact, the FDA issued a notice to Sanofi-Aventis about this finding that “FDA is not aware of abundant clinical experience to support the claims made in the carrier concerning Taxotere’s level of efficacy or superiority to paclitaxel.
Taxotere was approved for use in the USA in 1996. By 2005 (probably earlier) the manufacturer of Taxotere knew that the drug caused persistent hair loss, but did not warn patients or doctors in the USA of this hazard until very recently.
Sanofi-Aventis provided a warning of permanent hair loss to the user in Europe and Canada as early as 2005 thus giving doctors in Europe and Canada the chance to warn patients of the risk of permanent hair loss. Unfortunately, the notice was withheld from doctors and the FDA in the USA. Sanofi-Aventis just recently, in January 2016, changed the USA Label of Taxotere to warn that it can cause permanent hair loss.
Why would Sanofi-Aventis withhold such important data from cancer patients in the USA? The answer is that they needed market share against their competitor Bristol-Myers Squibb which produced the safer alternative drug Taxol.
Sanofi-Aventis made billions of dollars per year marketing Taxotere prior to the drug going generic in 2010/2011.You can also discuss your case and can seek help from taxotere hair loss lawsuit.
Many doctors are still prescribing Taxotere rather than Taxol as they were misled by Sanofi-Aventis about the facts. If you or somebody you know is suffering from cancer, please be sure to consider the possibility of permanent hair loss with your doctor before choosing to use Taxotere rather than Taxol.