After some early setbacks, AbbVie has scored a second straight victory in its AndroGel legal saga. On Friday, a federal jury sided with the drugmaker over plaintiff Robert Nolte and his legal team, who argued the company should be responsible for Nolte's 2012 pulmonary embolism that "necessitated substantial treatment."
In a suit filed in 2014, Nolte claimed AbbVie was liable for his injuries because of an AndroGel design defect and because the company didn't warn about the risks. The plaintiff also said AbbVie was negligent and fraudulently marketed its drug.
Like many other suits against AbbVie, Nolte claimed the company engaged in aggressive marketing and "disease mongering" to grow the low testosterone, or "Low-T," diagnoses and, in turn, sales of AndroGel. The drug reached blockbuster status in 2012 and 2013 before falling more recently after lawsuits emerged and the FDA placed new safety warnings on it.
Specific to his case, Nolte said he started using AndroGel in June 2012 until he suffered a pulmonary embolism later that year. He had to be hospitalized for several days, according to the suit.
After hearing the testimony, the jury sided with AbbVie on each of the suit's claims. AbbVie representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Plaintiff's attorney Christopher Seeger wrote to FiercePharma that "there have been two jury verdicts against AbbVie for approximately $300 million."
"AbbVie’s bad conduct has not gone unnoticed," he wrote. "There are over 4,000 heart attack and clot cases pending against AbbVie. We will continue to try cases for these victims until AbbVie is brought to justice."
The first verdict to go against the drugmaker—a $150 million decision handed down back in July—didn't stand up to court scrutiny, however. In December, a federal judge overturned the verdict for being "inconsistent" and ordered a new trial. The company pledged to appeal a second verdict, handed down in October for $140 million.