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Hiring a Qualified Propecia Lawyer

Hundreds of thousands of men who suffered male pattern baldness took the prescription drug Propecia (finasteride), made by Merck & Co., Inc., in hopes of preventing further hair loss. For some of these men, keeping up a youthful appearance came at a high cost: long-term, possibly permanent erectile dysfunction, impotence and a higher chance of high grade prostate cancer.  Many of those affected have turned to Propecia lawyers to help them obtain fair compensation for their losses and injuries.

Finasteride is also used to treat men with enlarged prostates. The drug blocks the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme changes testosterone to another hormone that causes the prostate to grow and also results in hair loss in males. Propecia increases testosterone levels in the body, which decreases prostate size and increases hair growth on the scalp.

Propecia side effects

Propecia labels were changed by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2012 to include warnings for low libido and ejaculation and orgasm disorders that continued for men even months after stopping the drug. Prior to changing the label, the FDA reviewed 421 reports of sexual dysfunction that were submitted through the agency’s Adverse Events Reporting System.

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found Propecia’s side effects may continue for months or even years after a man stops taking the drug. It involved a survey of 54 men under age 40 who reported adverse sexual side effects for three or more months after stopping finasteride treatment.

They reported a variety of problems including erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, trouble having an orgasm and shrinking genitals. Some men also complained of depression, anxiety and cognitive haziness. For 96% of the men, these sexual problems lasted more than a year after they quit using the drug. None of the men had sexual, medical or psychiatric complaints before taking Propecia.

Taking finasteride can also increase the risk of prostate cancer, according to a study published in The Oncologist in 2012. Taiwanese researchers examined the effects of Propecia and prostate cancer and found that while finasteride helped prevent low grade prostate cancer, it also increased the risk of a high grade disease developing. The National Cancer Institute performed its own study on prostate cancer and found similar results.

Finding the right Propecia lawyer

If you feel you’ve been injured by Propecia, what are your legal options?

Initiating a legal action may be the only way to obtain compensation for injuries caused by the drug, any financial damages that resulted (medical bills, lost work time), pain and suffering.  If you have a spouse or partner and the injuries negatively affected your relationship, that person may also have a legal claim for loss of consortium.

As in any legal action, the person filing the lawsuit (the plaintiff) has the burden of proof that the damages did occur and that more likely than not, the defendant caused those damages and should be held responsible.

Products liability litigation is exceedingly complex, which requires an attorney with a high level of knowledge and expertise to effectively represent a client.

The attorney should understand lawsuits involving dangerous drugs made by major pharmaceutical companies. He or she would be aware of the Propecia MDL, established in New York federal court. That attorney should also know the history of Propecia, its development, health studies, FDA approval and how it’s been marketed and sold to the public.That attorney should also not only be able to litigate your case, but represent you in negotiations with the defendant.  It’s crucial to hire a skilled lawyer to put build the best case possible against Merck.

Tips for choosing a Propecia attorney

You could try the Yellow Pages or any number of online attorney directories, but this is not just an average case.  This is your case.  It’s a complex lawsuit involving a pharmaceutical made and sold by a major international corporation.  You should look for an attorney who is familiar with Propecia litigation, and who has a proven track record of taking on Big Pharma.  Hiring the wrong attorney could set you back.

Here are some tips for finding the right Propecia lawyer:

  • Look for experience: You should choose an attorney familiar with Propecia lawsuits and the drug itself. Given the financial resources of the defendant, you will need legal counsel with the skills and confidence to take on a global pharmaceutical corporation – one with experience in major product liability cases.
  • Be comfortable: You will need to talk about very intimate details of your life and medical history to this attorney.  Find one who you can talk to and who is sensitive to your needs and concerns.
  • Establish who is representing your case: If you have a meeting, make sure it’s clear who will be doing the actual work on your case.  Talk to the attorney, or attorneys, who would be representing you in court.
  • Great advertising doesn’t mean a great attorney: An impressive advertising campaign won’t necessarily lead you to right person.  Find a Propecia lawyer with the knowledge and experience you need, who you feel comfortable with handling your case.
  • Don’t rely on a referral: Your friends may have used the services of an attorney, but how much experience does that attorney have with product liability cases and Propecia litigation?
  • Don’t focus on finding an attorney in your home town: There aren’t many attorneys with the experience and skill set you seek, so there may not be any close by. The thought of hiring an attorney whose office is far away may put you off. But with the ease of modern communications and the fact you may need to meet only a few times, proximity shouldn’t be a priority.  Look for an attorney who will keep in touch with you, respond to your requests and provide the personal service you deserve.
  1. Mayo Clinic, Finasteride (oral route),
  2. Daily Mail Online, Drugs that can affect your libido, 13-hour operations and hair-covered membranes that are fused to the scalp: The hair-raising truth about cures for male baldness,
  3. US National Library of Medicine, Finasteride and Prostate Cancer: A Commentary, Finasteride and Prostate Cancer: A Commentary
  4. National Cancer Institute, Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT),
  5. CNN, Hair loss drug may reduce libido,
  6. Merck & Co., Inc., Propecia,