Categories: Pharmaceutical litigation

What You Should Know:

  • Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (“TDF” or “tenofovir DF”) is a prescription drug that is used to treat HIV infection and chronic hepatitis B virus infections in certain patients.
  • The brand name for TDF is VIREAD®.
  • TDF is also used in combination drug prescriptions, including Truvada®, Atripla®, Complera® and Stribild®.
  • Lawsuits have been filed by individuals who have developed kidney and bone injuries after taking TDF.
  • The injured plaintiffs allege that Gilead Sciences minimized the risk of serious side effects from TDF and had available a safer drug, known as Tenofovir Alafenamide Fumarate (TAF), but withheld it from the market for almost 10 years in order to maximize the patent and lifecycle of TDF. By doing so, plaintiffs allege that Gilead Sciences exposed them unnecessarily to the risk of kidney and bone injuries.

Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate

Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (“TDF” or “tenofovir DF”) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children 2 years of age and older who weigh at least 22 lb (10 kg). It is also approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in adults and children 2 years of age and older who weigh at least 22 lb (10 kg). The brand name for Tenofovir DF is Viread® pronounced (VEER-ee-ad).  TDF is also in some combination drugs.

TDF is manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc. which manufacturers, markets, and sells five drugs that contain TDF:

  • Viread® (300 mg TDF tablets) (approved October 26, 2001);
  • Truvada® (TDF 300 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg tablets) (approved August 2, 2004);
  • Atripla® (TDF 300 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/efavirenz 600 mg tablets) (approved July 12, 2006);
  • Complera® (TDF 300 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/rilpivirine 25 mg tablets) (approved August 10, 2011); and
  • Stribild® (TDF 300 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/elvitegravir 150 mg/cobicistat 150 mg tablets) (approved August 27, 2012)

The Lawsuits

Lawsuits have been filed by individuals who have developed kidney disease and bone injuries after taking TDF.  The injuries include, but are not limited to:

Kidney Side Effects

  • Acute Kidney Injuries
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Renal Failure
  • Kidney Failure
  • Related Nephritic Injuries

Bone Side Effects

  • Fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteomalacia
  • Other orthopedic injuries

The injured plaintiffs allege that unbeknownst to them and the general public, Gilead had developed a safer drug known as Tenofovir Alafenamide Fumarate (“TAF”), which it knew to be more efficacious and less toxic to kidneys and bones. Yet, despite knowing of the disparity in safety between TAF and TDF, the lawsuits allege that Gilead shelved the TAF project in 2004 to artificially and unreasonably maximize profits on the existing TDF patent. Thus, despite the fact that Gilead owed its patients the safest drug available, it deliberately chose to sell TDF drugs first.

According to additional allegations in the lawsuits, ten years later in 2014, as the TDF patent came close to an end, Gilead strategically applied for FDA approval for TAF and, in November 2015, brought it to market for the first time. When Gilead introduced TAF to physicians in 2015, it touted the drug as “new” and “novel” formulation that was much safer for patients. The injured plaintiffs however, allege that there was nothing new about it, but instead was the same drug that Gilead had developed alongside TDF in the 1990s and was purportedly shelved in development since at least 2004. As result, hundreds of thousands of HIV-infected patients and patients taking the drug prophylactically were exposed to more toxic form of the drug for over decade. As a result, the plaintiff allege that they unwittingly and needlessly suffered permanent, debilitating, and sometimes fatal kidney and bone damage.

How We Can Help

Borgess Law, LLC is currently reviewing potential legal claims for individuals who have experienced kidney or bone problems after taking TDF.  There is no charge for this review.  Further, if the claim is one we are willing to pursue, there is no fee or expense owed unless a recovery is obtained.

Attorney Pamela Borgess, the founder of Borgess Law, LLC, has decades of experience with numerous national high-profile defective medical drug/device cases and can discuss your legal options. For more information about the Tenofovir litigation or to discuss a potential claim, contact Borgess Law at (567) 455-5955. You can also contact Borgess Law by submitting an online inquiry. Again, this consultation is free and confidential. We welcome any questions you may have.



*This blog does not contain medical advice and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Please consult with your physician for personalized medical advice.