Lawsuits against a blood-thinning drug manufacturer are piling up fast. One of the latest to join a multi-district litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana involving so far 250 complaints pertaining to the drug Xarelto is one that alleges a host of negligence claims in her 90-count complaint.
Among the defendants are Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research, Janssen Ortho LLC, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and others.
The complaint alleges defendants manufactured Xarelto and marketed it as a safe and effective treatment in diminishing the risk of stroke and systemic embolism. However, plaintiff asserts the manufacturers became aware during drug trials that the drug increased the risk of dangerous internal bleeding. Defendants touted the benefits of the drug as outlined in a series of other studies, while failing to similarly highlight the dangers discovered in other studies – specifically the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and and bleeding so severe it required blood transfusions.
Defendants reportedly spent in excess of $11 million in marketing costs to promote Xarelto, raking in more than $580 million in sales just in 2011. Last year, sales of the drug topped $1 billion. The lawsuit alleges defendants not only concealed the risks, but further overstated the effectiveness of its anti-coagulation properties.
Plaintiffs in the multi-district litigation action claim there were at least 2,080 adverse events reported as a result of people taking the drug just in 2012. Of those, at least 150 resulted in death, according to the complaints.
In the latest case, plaintiff alleges she suffered severe personal injuries and loss of life enjoyment and incurred steep medical costs and lost wages.
Defendant have denied all of these allegations, insisting the benefits of Xarelto (generically known as rivaroxaban) outweigh the costs and that while there is an inherent risk of internal bleeding with any blood-thinner, doctors and patients have always had warning of this.
Defendants specifically point to the “Rocket-AF” study, conducted by Bayer, and the “Einstein PE” study, conducted by Janssen. The first compared Xarelto to another anti-coagulant, warfarin, for stroke prevention, and the second compared the drug to enoxaparin. In those studies, Xarelto reportedly performed similarly or exceeded the existing anti-coagulant drugs in terms of effectiveness and reduction of risk.
But neither of those studies mentions at all the fact that there is no known reversal agent for the negative side effects of Xarelto. That manufacturers didn’t know of this stretches the limits of credibility, according to those who suffered those ill effects.
Plaintiffs assert the company was negligent in its failure to fully investigate and accurately define the safety profile of the drug and for failing to provide adequate warnings of the potential danger to patients.
The newest plaintiff to join the multi-district litigation is seeking $4.35 million in damages plus attorney fees and court costs.
Lawsuits concerning defective or dangerous medications are particularly complex and require a legal team with extensive experience and resources. An extensive investigation combined with input from expert testimony from medical doctors and others are essential.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
90-count Xarelto lawsuit seeking $4.35M from the drug’s manufacturers removed to MDL court, May 28, 2015, By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo, Madison-St. Clair Record
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