Xarelto Drug Lawsuits

Posted in Products Liability at 5:26 pm by kevin

Xarelto is a blood thinning agent manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson. It was primarily prescribed as treatment for atrial fibrillation, but patients with deep vein thrombosis are also targeted. Manufacturers claim that a patient taking Xarelto can forego regular blood monitoring and dietary restrictions, which is why it gained worldwide popularity. In 2013, the makers earned $1.3 billion in sales, and continued to do so before the lawsuits were filed. During its release, it was touted as a replacement for Warfarin or Coumadin, and a very good one at that.

Unfortunately, patients prescribed with the drug experienced major side effects which led to a filing of the Xarelto lawsuit, an on-going multi-district litigation (MLD). What is worse, Xarelto has no known antidote in case a counterbalancing coagulant would be required.

What led to the filing of a lawsuit against Xarelto?

Based on detailed research and worldwide adverse reports collected by the plaintiff, there are alleged 72 reported cases of death in Germany that are associated with Xarelto. According to reports in Der Spiegel, a German newspaper that highlighted the story, there are 968 reports about patients experiencing side effects, 58 of which led to deaths. This raised the red flag or “safety signal” on the blood thinning agent.

There are also reports of post-operative pulmonary embolism or blood clots in the lungs, a condition that Xarelto was supposed to treat. Apparently, treatment of the drug is supposed to be discontinued if there is a risk of bleeding associated with surgical or other procedures, and then restarted afterwards. Depending on the urgency of the situation, there should be a 24-hour delay from the last dose of Xeralto to the surgery.

Sufferers also filed Xarelto lawsuits against the manufacturer and marketers for failure to warn patients of the risk of internal bleeding, which is fatal, considering that Xarelto has no antidote for when such an event occurs. Use of the drug also raises the risks of bleeding following an injury. As a blood thinner, even a small cut can prove fatal because of the lack of an antidote. This led to doctors having no way of stopping the bleeding. Xarelto is known to cause several types of bleeding — from the rectum, in the brain, hemorrhaging, and intestinal or abdominal bleeds.

One of the plaintiffs also experienced firsthand the damage that Xarelto can do to an unsuspecting patient. He started treatment in January 2013 upon the advice of his physician. 2 years and a few months later, he was hospitalized due to internal bleeding which Xarelto has no known antidote. He also alleged that the manufacturers knew or should have known that the drugs have associated risks, yet they failed to properly warn patients and physicians of all the dangers linked with the drugs.

Because multiple claims is often necessary to effectuate maximum exposure of defendants in product liability cases involving prescription drugs, the plaintiff made further claims, including negligence, fraud, violation of consumer protection laws and punitive damages. The very idea that they misrepresented their product is also part of the numerous claims filed against the defendants.

The motion to centralize the MLD 21 Xarelto lawsuits was approved on December 12, 2014. Claims were consolidated into MDL and the Eastern District of Louisiana was chosen as the appropriate venue. The case was finally settled in May 2014 for $650 million.

Now, as new blood thinning agents are out in the market, similar lawsuits are seen to be filed, especially now that patients are more wary of such drugs and are fully aware of their rights in personal injury lawsuits.