Truvada Judge Throws Out Gilead “Expert” Reports

March 9, 2023, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar dismissed testimony from four Gilead kidney experts and four bone experts, who submitted “substantially similar” reports with the same structure and many verbatim or nearly verbatim passages. Plaintiffs maintain, and the judge agreed, that Gilead, the corporation that makes Truvada HIV prevention, clearly instructed its counsel and experts to try and pull a fast one over the court and opposing counsel, in direct violation of the federal rules.

Plaintiffs in litigation against Truvada maker Gilead have requested the California federal judge to rule that the anti-HIV drug can cause kidney damage. The request comes after Gilead’s expert testimony refuting the evidence against it was dismissed by the judge.

Plaintiffs have argued that drugs containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) can cause kidney and bone injury is “uncontroverted.” They have further argued that Gilead’s internal documents and expert evidence support their position.

Truvada is a drug used by people who are HIV-negative but at risk of HIV exposure. Gilead claims that it can reduce the rate of HIV transmission by 90%. The plaintiffs have argued that there is no genuine issue of fact for trial on general causation given Gilead’s experts’ agreement that TDF can cause kidney and bone injury, and Gilead’s admissions regarding the “proven clinical . . . renal and bone toxicities” of TDF.

The case revolves around plaintiffs’ claims that, though TDF has clinical benefits, Gilead had a safer drug available. They did not market the safer version, however, because they wanted to benefit from copyright laws that protected its massive profits from TDF-containing Truvada.