“I think it’s a strong message they sent in terms of AbbVie’s conduct,” Troy Rafferty, Mitchell’s lawyer, said after the jury handed down its verdict. Adelle Infante, an AbbVie spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the verdict.
Sales of AndroGel slid after regulators called for tougher warning labels in 2015. AbbVie officials have steadfastly maintained the testosterone booster didn’t cause a higher rate of blood clots.
The suits, consolidated before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly, accuse AbbVie and other makers of testosterone-replacement medicines of hiding or downplaying their products’ clot risk and violating federal law with aggressive marketing campaigns. AndroGel has been tied to fatal heart attacks in at least four cases.
AbbVie has been specifically targeted for allegedly launching an $80 million marketing campaign in 2012 to promote AndroGel for a condition known as “Low T”, or low testosterone. Television ads promised immediate benefits for men suffering from low energy and lack of sexual drive, according to court filings.
The case is Mitchell v. AbbVie Inc., 14-cv-9178, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).