The pharmaceutical industry is no stranger to legal battles. However, the Tepezza turmoil has recently taken center stage, drawing attention to the complex legal disputes surrounding it. Tepezza, a medication used to treat thyroid eye disease, has become the focal point of legal challenges.
In this article, we will look at the background of the Tepezza lawsuits and the legal proceedings around them.
Tepezza: A Closer Look at the Background
Tepezza is a medication used in the treatment of thyroid eye disease (TED), also known as Graves ophthalmopathy. This condition is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues around the eyes, leading to inflammation and other symptoms.
In 2020, the FDA approved Tepezza for treating adult Thyroid eye disease. It was approved after two randomized trials on 170 patients. The approval was based on the results of clinical trials that demonstrated the drug’s effectiveness in reducing proptosis (eye bulging). The drug also showed improvements in other symptoms associated with TED.
Tepezza works by inhibiting the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R). This receptor plays a role in the inflammation, tissue expansion, and muscle involvement seen in thyroid eye disease. By targeting IGF-1R, Tepezza helps to reduce the severity of symptoms in patients with TED.
Tepezza’s Rise to Prominence
Tepezza is the first FDA-approved medication for TED. Hence, it grew significantly in prominence. Many adults have used this medication to mitigate the pain and suffering caused by TED. The medication has also proved effective in most cases. However, in some scenarios, the patients have faced severe side effects.
According to an NCBI study, while teprotumumab or Tepezza is well tolerated, many patients can experience side effects. 25% of patients have experienced muscle spasms, along with Hyperglycemia in 10%. In trials, 12% of patients experienced stomach disorders. These are a few of the adverse side effects, apart from many others.
This medication has also been linked to several other problems. According to TorHoerman Law, Tepezza is associated with partial or permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, increased sensitivity to sound, etc. Hence, many patients who were administered Tepezza and went on to develop hearing problems started filing lawsuits.
Through the Tepezza lawsuits, the plaintiffs allege that Horizon Therapeutics, the manufacturer, failed to warn them about the potential side effects. If you have faced any such problem, you, too, can file a Tepezza lawsuit and seek compensation for your damages.
The Legal Battles Unfold
In August 2022, a legal ripple surfaced, setting the stage for what could become a wave of litigation against Horizon Therapeutics. The first Tepezza hearing loss lawsuit was lodged in the US District Court: Northern District of Illinois. It was filed by the plaintiff, David Weibel, who stepped forward to confront the pharmaceutical giant.
In the complaint filed by Weibel’s legal representatives, a narrative unfolds about him. He sought relief from Thyroid Eye Disease, only to find himself plunged into a new affliction, permanent hearing loss. The allegations against Horizon Therapeutics cut to the core of pharmaceutical responsibility.
The legal narrative argues that Horizon Therapeutics allegedly turned a deaf ear to pertinent safety concerns surrounding Tepezza. According to Weibel’s attorneys, the company allegedly neglected to heed warning signs, thereby exposing patients like Weibel to unforeseen risks.
As the gavel echoed in the Northern District of Illinois, it marked the rise of several lawsuits against the manufacturer. It marked not only a personal quest for justice for David Weibel but also a potential harbinger for others.
Since this first case, more than 40 lawsuits have been filed, according to law.com. All the lawsuits alleged that Tepezza also causes hearing loss. A team of 12 lawyers has been appointed to take over the cases.
The reverberations from this initial lawsuit are expected to resonate in the legal arena. It is anticipated that more Tepezza-related lawsuits will be filed by plaintiffs over time. These cases also unfold the narrative that underscores the critical intersection between pharmaceutical innovation and the profound responsibility of pharmaceutical companies.
Patient Advocacy and Class Action Lawsuits
Amidst the regulatory scrutiny, patients who had experienced adverse effects began filing lawsuits against Horizon Therapeutics. These class action lawsuits allege negligence, failure to warn, and other legal violations, seeking compensation for damages incurred as a result of using the medication.
Patient advocacy groups have also played a significant role in amplifying the voices of those affected by Tepezza-related issues. These groups have become vocal proponents of stricter regulations and increased transparency in the pharmaceutical industry. This has emphasized the need for manufacturers to prioritize patient well-being throughout the drug development and distribution process.
The FDA, responsible for ensuring the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products, initiated investigations into Tepezza’s manufacturing practices. Any deviations from the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines could have serious consequences, including product recalls, financial penalties, and damage to the manufacturer’s reputation.
The legal battles surrounding Tepezza also brought attention to the regulatory framework governing pharmaceuticals. Critics argue that the regulatory process might need to be more robust to prevent potential lapses in quality control.
Responses from Manufacturer
As you may have heard, there’s a lot going on in Tepezza. The legal battles plaguing manufacturers and their roots are only increasing in number. However, Horizon Therapeutic is also fighting back. However, this might not have any impact, as some studies have shown the link between Tepezza and hearing loss.
In fact, a study published on the HCP Live website shows that around half of the patients have faced hearing-related side effects. The study concluded that more than 50% of those receiving four infusions reported hearing loss. This is higher than the 10% of patients mentioned on the warning label.
In conclusion, Tepezza has been a highly controversial product ever since its outset. The legal battles surrounding its manufacture and sale have been extensive. There is no doubt that these cases are significant for both manufacturers and consumers alike.
From manufacturing irregularities to regulatory scrutiny and patient lawsuits, the Tepezza turmoil has sparked a broader conversation. It has highlighted the need for enhanced quality control, regulatory transparency, and patient-centered approaches in drug development. As the legal battles continue, the industry must reflect on these issues.