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Eli Lilly Reaches Testosterone Therapy Settlement

Man signing papers next to gavel

Eli Lilly and Co. has reached a global settlement in hundreds of federal lawsuits over its testosterone replacement therapy drug Axiron, according to federal court records.

Details of the settlement had not been released as of Jan. 4, 2018.

The company was named in more than 400 lawsuits that are part of multidistrict litigation being managed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Multidistrict litigation is a means by which federal courts manage large numbers of similar lawsuits filed around the country. A single judge decides all pretrial issues and presides over the initial trials.

The lawsuits against Eli Lilly are among more than 6,000 federal lawsuits against various manufacturers of testosterone replacement therapy drugs. Patients filing these lawsuits claim they suffered cardiac problems and strokes as a result of taking the drugs.

Two cases involving Eli Lilly had been slated for trials on Jan. 29, 2018, and March 5, 2018. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly issued an order on Dec. 21, 2017, vacating those trials and directing that all proceedings involving Eli Lilly be halted for 45 days to give the parties time to finalize a master settlement agreement.

Auxilium Settles Testim Case in Philadelphia

In a separate development in state court in Philadelphia, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals settled a lawsuit by a man who claimed that company’s testosterone replacement drug, Testim, caused his stroke.

Robert Hoehl’s lawsuit would have been the lead case in a mass tort in Philadelphia, but a judge in that city denied requests by both the plaintiff and the defendant to designate cases there for mass litigation. Mass litigation is Pennsylvania state court’s equivalent to federal multidistrict litigation.

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In the meantime, 17 more testosterone-replacement-drug lawsuits have been scheduled for trial in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia starting in June.

The parties settled Hoehl’s lawsuit, according to a Jan. 2, 2018, docket entry in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Endo International owns Auxilium. The Hoehl case settlement comes on the heels of a win for the company in another Testim case — this one in Chicago federal court. Jurors on Nov. 16, 2017, ruled that Testim was not responsible for a heart attack suffered by a Steve Holtsclaw of Hampton, Tenn.

Multimillion-Dollar Testosterone Gel Verdicts

Two previous federal juries sitting in Chicago ordered another manufacturer, AbbVie Inc., to pay awards of $150 million and $140 million to men who claimed the drug AndroGel caused their heart problems.

A federal judge in December threw out the $150 million verdict and ordered a new trial. The judge found that verdict for plaintiff Jesse Mitchell inconsistent because jurors ordered no compensatory damages, but a large punitive award.

Compensatory damages are designed to compensate injured parties for their expenses, as well as pain and suffering and lost wages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant – in this case the drug manufacturer – for its conduct. Punitive damages generally are not awarded if the person who filed the lawsuit was not injured by that conduct.

Like other lawsuits involving testosterone replacement therapy drugs, Hoehl’s lawsuit accused the manufacturer of deceptive marketing and inadequate warnings about the drug’s dangerous side effects.

Hoehl, of Anniston, Alabama, suffered a stroke in July 2012, nine months after he started taking Testim, according to a news release from Ross Feller Casey, the law firm representing Hoehl.

Lawsuits generally accuse makers of testosterone replacement therapy of pushing the products for a made-up condition called Low-T, or Low Testosterone. In reality, the supposed symptoms of Low T, such as fatigue, are the natural effects of aging, the lawsuits allege. The FDA approved testosterone products only for treating a specific condition called hypogonadism, which involves severely lowered testosterone levels.

Last modified: January 5, 2018


Elaine Silvestrini is a career journalist with a strong desire to learn, explain, and help people. At Drugwatch, Elaine has reported about trials over whether talcum powder caused ovarian cancer and allegations that Androgel causes heart problems in patients who use it. She has chronicled the billions of dollars generated for big pharmaceutical companies by certain drugs and efforts to warn consumers about the dangers of specific medical problems. Elaine has received six health literacy certificates for completing courses offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She brings more than 20 years of experience covering state and federal court systems, learning the intricacies of criminal and civil law, developing investigative pieces about how the law affects people’s lives and digging through and digesting reams of court records on a daily basis.

Hide Sources

  1. Hoehl et al vs Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. (n.d.) Civil Docket Report. Retrieved from
  2. Packel, D. (2018, January 3). Judge Sets Busy Trial Slate For Philly Testosterone Cases. Retrieved from
  3. United States District Court Northern District of Illinois. (n.d.). In re Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Litigation. Retrieved from
  4. United States District Court Northern District of Illinois. (2017, December 21). In re Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation. MDL No. 2545. Case 1:14cv-01748. Case Management Order No. 92. Retrieved from
  5. Ross Feller Casey. (2014, March 13). Ross Feller Casey Files Testosterone Lawsuit Against Makers/Promoters of Low T drug Testim on Behalf of Stroke Victim [Press release]. Retrieved from
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