15: Tenofovir: Lawsuits Claim HIV Drug Causes Kidney Damage

The HIV medication tenofovir has been prescribed for years to delay the progression of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Studies are now showing serious problems from this medication, including toxicity to kidneys, bone loss, and bone injury. Join us on this episode to learn more about tenofovir and its problems.

We are joined by my friend and fellow product liability lawyer, Whitney Butcher, an attorney with Hilliard Martinez & Gonzales. Whitney has a long history of representing individuals injured by harmful medications and defective medical devices. In today’s conversation, we discuss tenofovir and the brand-name medications (like Truvada) that have been developed from this compound, the problems that have been discovered, and the litigation that has followed.

Show Highlights:

  • How antiretroviral drugs target HIV cells and keep them from replicating
  • Tenofovir: a compound found to be effective in preventing the replication of HIV cells but also nephrotoxic
  • How tenofovir began in IV form but was then put in pill form around 2001 with specific delivery agents
  • The TDF combination developed by Gilead Sciences that hit the market in 2001 under the brand names Viread, Truvada, Atripla, Complera, and Stribild
  • How TDF can damage the kidneys
  • Why TAF is safer than TDF and more stable in the body, leading to less systemic exposure and toxicity
  • How Gilead allegedly prioritized TDF medications over safer TAF options to maximize profits for 14-15 years
  • Why warning labels about TDF were stronger in Canada and European Union countries than in the US
  • How TDF leads to bone injury and stress fractures in patients
  • The lawsuits against Gilead in state and federal courts in CA and how they differ from class-action lawsuits




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