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Propecia Lawsuits Could be Headed for MDL

Filed February 17th, 2012 Julie

Oral arguments will be heard by a panel of federal judge next month in an effort to determine if a series of Propecia-related lawsuits will be consolidated. The suits have been filed by men who suffered serious sexual problems, including permanent erectile dysfunction, after using the hair-growth drug.

A hearing will take place March 29 in San Diego where the drug maker’s lawyers and plaintiffs involved in the Propecia litigation will present their arguments about whether the cases should be consolidated before one judge for pretrial hearings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).

More than 50 Propecia lawsuits are pending in federal courts across the country, all of them alleging that Merck & Co. failed to adequately warn consumers and medical professionals that side effects from the drug could cause permanent or long-term sexual problems.

Propecia is approved for the treatment of male pattern baldness. The drug is a low-dose version of Proscar, a drug approved to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Many men who took Propecia have complained of erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, infertility, anxiety, depression and other problems.

On the warning label in the U.S., Merck & Co. indicates that the sexual side effects from taking Propecia are temporary, but for many men, their problems persisted well after they stopped taking it.

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