Notes on the Journey

Endo close to settling testosterone therapy lawsuits

By   – Senior Reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal

Endo International is nearing a settlement to resolve the lawsuits filed against the company by users of its drugs designed to increase testosterone levels in men.

“The parties are negotiating the terms of a potential settlement, subject to certain contingencies and conditions,” said Endo spokeswoman Health Zoumas Lubeski. “The settlement will not involve any admission of wrongdoing or liability.”

Endo, which is based in Dublin, Ireland, and has its U.S. headquarters in Malvern, was among a handful of pharmaceutical companies — a list that also includes Abbvie and GlaxoSmithKline — sued by thousands of users of testosterone-boosting programs by patients alleging the drug makers did not properly disclose health risks associated with taking such products. Plaintiffs in the lawsuits allege various personal injuries including pulmonary embolisms, strokes and other vascular or cardiac injuries resulted from taking the products.

The litigation against the drug companies has been consolidated at U.S. District Court in Chicago.

GlaxoSmithKline is also reportedly nearing a settlement agreement that would involve no admission of any wongdoing or liability, according to a company spokeswoman.

Endo’s April 6 trial date has been placed on hold by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly, pending both sides are able to finalize a settlement agreement.

Endo has several prescription medications containing testosterone that are approved to treat hypogonadism, a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone. The condition afflicts an estimated 4 million older men in the United States.

One of Endo’s hypogonadism products, Testim, was developed by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, a suburban Philadelphia pharmaceutical company that Endo acquired in 2015 for $2.6 billion. Auxilium was also named as a defendant in the lawsuits. Auxilium and GSK co-promoted Testim between 2012 and 2015.

Endo officials, when commenting previously on the testosterone therapy lawsuits, said, “We intend to contest the litigation vigorously and to explore all options as appropriate in our best interests.” At the start of last year, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission the company had about 1,200 testosterone cases pending against it, some of which were filed on behalf of multiple plaintiffs.

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