Tepezza is a new medication for the treatment of thyroid eye disease (TED). Soon after Tepezza was released on the market, evidence began to emerge showing that many patients who received Tepezza injections suffered permanent hearing damage and/or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
The manufacturer of Tepezza, Horizon Therapeutics, failed to warn doctors and patients about the hearing loss risk. Patients who received Tepezza injections and suffered permanent hearing loss are now bringing product liability lawsuits to get compensation for their injuries. A new Tepezza class action MDL lawsuit was recently for those Tepezza cases in federal courts. Contact us today to see if you have a case at 800-553-8082 or reach out to us online for a free consultation.
Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw) is an injectable prescription drug for the treatment of thyroid eye disease (TED) TED is an autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the tissues around the eyes.
Tepezza is the only drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of TED. Tepezza counteracts TED by targeting the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R), which is believed to play a role in the development of TED. Tepezza is administered through a series of injections over several months. It has proven very effective at addressing the symptoms of TED such as eye-bulging, double vision, and eye pain.
Horizon Therapeutics developed and patented Tepezza. Tepezza is still under its original patent so there are no generic versions yet. Tepezza is a relatively new drug. It was first approved for use in the U.S. in 2000.
Tepezza Causes Permanent Hearing Loss
In the 3 years since Tepezza has been on the market, a wealth of evidence has emerged which shows some patients who receive Tepezza injections have abnormal reactions which results in permanent hearing damage and hearing loss.
In March 2021, just months after Tepezza was approved by the FDA, the journal Endocrine Society published a study which found that 65% of patients who received Tepezza injections reported hearing loss, hearing damage, or tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears). That percentage was more than six times higher than the estimated risk disclosed by Horizon in its product packaging and warning labels.
The following year, in January 2022, a case series was published on incidents of Tepezza-associated hearing loss based on information from three doctors who treated 28 patients. The authors speculated on the chemical mechanism for how Tepezza was causing hearing damage. In February 2022, another prospective observational case series report was published involving Tepezza hearing loss. The reported detailed the cases of the 5 patients with tepezza-related hearing loss had persistent subjective hearing loss at the last follow-up.
Horizon Failed to Warn About the Risk of Hearing Loss
The maker of Tepezza, Horizon Therapeutics, did disclose that hearing loss was a potential side effect of Tepezza. However, Horizon grossly understanded how significant the risk was. Horizon claimed that hearing loss occurred in less than 10% of patients, and that the hearing loss was just temporary. The truth is that Tepezza causes hearing loss about 60% of the time, and a large percentage of those incidents involved permanent loss of hearing.
The Tepezza lawsuits assert that Horizon’s understated warning about the hearing loss risk was entirely inadequate because it failed to provide doctors and patients with an accurate understanding of the real risk level. The lawsuits claim that the Tepezza warning was inadequate and that Horizon should be held liable based on negligent failure to warn.
Horizon was fully aware (or should have been aware) that Tepezza presented a much higher risk of hearing loss, and that this hearing loss could be permanent. There was medical literature clearly suggesting that the hormone targeted by Tepezza, IGF-I, plays a central role in hearing and that low levels of IGF-I are associated with hearing loss. Horizon arguably should have known this when Tepezza was submitted for FDA approval. At the very least, however, Horizon became of the issues with Tepezza at some point soon after the drug was approved, and reports and studies linking it to hearing damage started to emerge.
Tepezza Class Action Lawsuit for Hearing Loss
Beginning in 2022, individuals who suffered hearing loss from Tepezza injections began filing product liability lawsuits against Horizon. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits claimed that Horizon was negligent in failing to adequately warn patients and doctors about the real risks of hearing damage associated with Tepezza.
The lawsuits assert that the absence of an adequate warning about the hearing damage risk left patients and doctors unaware of the potential harm that the drug could cause. These plaintiffs allege that they would never have to take Tepezza for treatment of their TED had Horizon provided an adequate and accurate warning about this risk.
In June 2023, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all of the Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits in federal courts into a new class action MDL. The Tepezza class action MDL has been assigned to Judge Thomas Durkin in the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Durkin will preside over a consolidated discovery phase during which facts and evidence related to the allegations will be gathered.
Once the discovery phase is completed, a handful of Tepezza hearing loss cases will be selected for bellwether trials. These test trials are intended to give the participants a sample of what they could expect if all of the cases went to trial. The results of the bellwether trials typically form the basis of a global settlement in which all Tepezza claimants receive compensation.
Potential Settlement Value of Tepezza Class Action Lawsuit
Estimating the final settlement value of the Tepezza class action lawsuit is very speculative at this stage because the litigation is just getting started. At this stage, we don’t fully know how strong these cases may be because there are just too many variables and unknowns.
That being said, however, most mass tort lawyers are very bullish on the Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits. There seems to be an early consensus that these are strong cases, and that the scientific evidence supporting the plaintiffs’ claims will hold up in court. We can provide an estimated settlement value for the Tepezza cases, based on our experience with other mass torts and based on various assumptions.
Our lawyers estimate that a Tepezza hearing loss case with good facts could have an average settlement compensation in the range of $140,000 to $350,000. The exact value of a specific case will depend on various factors, including the age of the plaintiff and whether they had any preexisting hearing issues. Cases involving a major, permanent hearing loss in relatively young plaintiffs could be worth much more.
Contact Us About the Tepezza Class Action Lawsuit
Our firm is currently seeking Tepezza hearing damage lawsuits across the country. If you took Tepezza for treatment of TED and you subsequently suffered hearing damage, hearing loss, or permanent ringing in the ears (tinnitus) contact our office today for a free consultation. Call us today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online for a free consultation.