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The Negative Side of Truvada PrEP

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Truvada’s manufacturer has known it causes serious side effects and even death, but they’ve put profits over people and held out on introducing a safer, just-as-effective HIV deterrent so that they could continue to corner the multi-billion dollar market on the drug.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - Since 2012, Truvada has been an important tool in the fight against the spread of HIV, but it isn't as safe as it could be. Gilead Science Inc., Truvada's manufacturer, has known it causes serious side effects and even death, but they've put profits over people and held out on introducing a safer, just-as-effective HIV deterrent so that they could continue to corner the multi-billion dollar market on the drug.

Truvada was introduced in 2004 as part of an effective HIV treatment protocol for adults and children 12 years and older. In 2012, the FDA approved it for use in a drug marketed as PrEP. PrEP is a combination of two antiretrovirals: emtricitabine and tenofovir disproxil, and it has quickly become one of the most popular HIV drugs in the world.

The problem with PrEP is that one ingredient, tenofovir disproxil, is risky stuff. People taking it risk bone density loss that can lead to fractures, and also serious kidney problems, including kidney failure and death, especially in people who are already HIV positive.

It may seem as if the benefits outweigh the risks, but there is another factor at play. Years ago, Gilead developed a safer version of tenofovir called TAF, which doesn't have the risks kidney failure and bone. They knew it was safer, but Gilead stopped clinical research for years until the patent for Truvada was set to expire. This kept the profits rolling in—$11 billion annually at its height—and protected the market from competition from other manufacturers.

In short, there was a safer product available, but Gilead chose to keep it from people so they could make more money. They knowingly exposed millions of HIV-positive people to unnecessary risk and serious permanent injuries.

Two separate warning letters from the FDA didn't deter Gilead from making false claims about and downplaying Truvada's side effects. The company continued to market PrEP as a safe product, knowing it wasn't doing everything it could to mitigate risk for people who took it.

Thanks to a growing number of victims and their families who have been willing to stand up against the drug giant, Gilead is now facing accountability for the damage they have done.

People who have suffered from broken and brittle bones, osteoporosis, and kidney failure after taking Truvada, as well as antiretrovirals Viread, Stribild, Atripla, Symfi Lo, AccessPak for HIV PEP Expanded with Kaletra, AccessPak for HIV PEP Expanded with Viracept, Complera, Cimduo, and Genvoya are suing Gilead.

For these victims, it isn't only about getting the compensation they deserve for suffering, damage, medical expenses and loss; it's about getting the harmful version of Truvada off of pharmacy shelves and holding Gilead accountable for gambling with their lives.

The Onder Law Firm is dedicated to holding companies like Gilead accountable for unethical business practices. We want to help.

If you have taken Truvada and have suffered from side effects such as osteoporosis, kidney failure, or broken or brittle bones, you may be entitled to compensation. The Onder Law Firm offers free, no-obligation case reviews so that you can find out if you are eligible. Our lawyers work on contingency, meaning you will never have to pay legal fees unless we win compensation for you.

More importantly, we can work together to make sure no one else has to suffer due to preventable risks like those Truvada has posed. Not only will Gilead have to answer for their greed, but we can make them an example for other companies. People must always come before profits.

Take a stand with us. Call 314-963-9000 or 1-800-RX-WATCH, or visit us online at onderlaw.com.

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