Boston, MA 06/09/2014 (wallstreetpr) – AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) are alleged to hide risks associated with the testosterone substitute AndroGel.
Both the Chicago based drug makers are to face lawsuits in a court in Chicago now while several cases over the same issue are already pending in the U.S. District Court. Judge Matthew Kennelly, along with a panel of judges, announced the judgment to consolidate the cases involving Abbott and AbbVie, which was spun off the previous year by Abbott. Kennelly will supervise all information exchanges before the actual trail begins, as part of the merger.
The market for such drugs is worth as much as $1.6 billion a year. The panel seeks to encompass all cases against manufacturers of testosterone substitutes, including the drug Axiron, which is made by Eli Lilly & Co (NYSE:LLY). The Panel on Multidistrict Litigation expects to see thousands of cases after the lawsuits against other testosterone substitute makers are consolidated with the 45 AndroGel cases that have till now been filed in the U.S. federal courts.
The AndroGel related lawsuits were decided to be presented before Kennelly because the drug was found to increase risks of stroke and heart attack and the U.S. food and Drug Administration is now re-examining the safety of the testosterone substitute.
However, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) seem to have a conflict in opinions regarding the proposed consolidation. On one hand, Abbott’s spokesman, Scott Stoffel, seemed dissatisfied with the decision and said that with the spin-off of the company’s research based pharmaceutical unit in Jan, 2013, all the U.S. commercial rights and related responsibilities had passed to the new biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV). On the other hand, the spokesman for the North Chicago, Illinois based company, Dirk Van Eeden, supports the consolidation and believes it is the right thing to do to ensure efficiency and consistency.