Patients who have Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+CML) should be aware that some who developed rapidly progressing arteriosclerosis after being treated with nilotinib, brand name Tasigna, are filing Tasigna lawsuits seeking justice for the injuries they have suffered and the losses they have incurred.
The Dangers of Hardened Arteries
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells. It causes an overabundance of these cells, which then spill from bone marrow into the bloodstream to travel elsewhere in the body. Tasigna stops the growth and spread of cancer cells by blocking the proteins cancer cells need to activate and grow, while not interfering with the growth and development of non-cancerous cells.
Unfortunately, some patients who are treated with Tasigna have experienced severe adverse events including rapidly-progressing atherosclerosis, a potentially fatal condition more commonly known as hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to:
- Poor circulation
- Tissue death
- Heart attack
Atherosclerosis, also called arteriosclerosis causes your arteries to become stiff with plaque. As plaque builds, the artery narrows and restricts the flow of blood. Plaque deposits can also break free from the artery wall, travel to elsewhere in the body and form a clot that blocks the flow of blood to critical organs. If the flow of blood to the extremities is restricted, its called peripheral artery disease. If blood flow to the brain is restricted, its called carotid artery disease, and when the flow of blood to the heart is restricted it is called coronary artery disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, the leading cause of death in developed nations is atherosclerosis.
Patients Want Answers
Unfortunately, some patients on Tasigna developed a rapidly progressing form of atherosclerosis and suffered dangerous health consequences before they even knew their arteries were starting to harden.
These patients and the families of those who died from complications of atherosclerosis are demanding answers from Tasigna manufacturer Novartis. They want to know when the drug maker knew or should have known about the dangers of Tasigna-atherosclerosis and why the company failed to warn patients and their physicians about these dangers.
In 2013, the drug maker issued a warning to doctors in Canada about the increased risks of atherosclerosis for patients on Tasigna, and another warning specifically for patients, alerting them to these risks. The warnings Novartis issued in Canada allow patients and their doctors to make informed decisions about treatment options.
Patients in America want to know why Novartis chose not to warn them so that they too could make informed healthcare decisions. In fact, patients want to know why, when the maker knew for years that the drug could cause patients to develop hardened arteries, that patients were only warned of what Novartis called an uncommon side effect of coronary artery disease, instead of being told they could actually develop a rapidly progressing and irreversible form of atherosclerosis.
Any patient who was treated with Tasigna and developed rapidly progressing and irreversible atherosclerosis may be entitled to compensation and should speak to a skilled and experienced dangerous drug attorney about their rights and the options that may be available to them.