Lawsuits Mount Against Makers of Xarelto
Lawsuits Against Makers of Blood-Thinner Drug Xarelto
Xarelto, a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots and strokes, was approved for medical use in the US in 2011. Xarelto was developed by Bayer and is marketed in the US by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. (owned by Johnson & Johnson). Unlike some other anticoagulants, Xarelto does not require routine blood testing nor dietary restrictions of any form. However, the risks of this newer drug are much greater. Lawsuits allege that Xarelto can and has caused deadly internal bleeding.
Tens of thousands of plaintiffs have filed Xarelto lawsuits against Bayer and Johnson&Johnson for such life threatening complications such as internal bleeding, wound leaks, infections, and strokes. The plaintiffs contend that they were not adequately warned about these risks. These cases have been consolidated into multi-district litigation in Louisiana.
What is Multi-District Litigation?
Multi-district litigation (MDL) is a special procedure in which federal civil cases from around the country are transferred to one court. Multi-district litigation may come into play in cases involving a major transportation accident, product liability, or a mass tort. MDLs provide a more efficient way to handle cases where many plaintiffs from different areas all have a common issue or common defendant. In this instance, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon of New Orleans has recently ordered that 1,200 product defect lawsuits against Xarelto be prepared for trial in federal courts across the country. The initial round of 600 lawsuits will be selected by April 30, and the second group of 600 will be identified by August 30. There are a total of more than 20,000 pending cases in the MDL.
Injuries Caused by Xarelto
All blood thinners can cause internal bleeding if not controlled. With the blood thinner warfarin, bleeding can effectively be controlled with antidotes, in particular, Vitamin K because warfarin thins the blood by blocking Vitamin K. Xarelto, however, works by interfering with a protein called Factor Xa so that Vitamin K cannot be used to counterattack the effects of the drug. According to Recall Center, the risks of Xarelto include “uncontrollable bleeding that may become apparent due to symptoms such as coughing up or vomiting blood, headaches, red or black stool, and spinal and epidural blood clots after a spinal tap or epidural.” To date, antidotes developed for Xarelto have been rejected by the FDA. This possibility that internal bleeding cannot be stopped is the greatest danger of Xarelto. Doctors have no means of controlling bleeding, even in a hospital setting.
Lawsuits against Bayer and J&J allege that the drug manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumers about the risks associated with Xarelto, and exaggerated the drug’s safety and effectiveness.
A recent study found Xarelto no more effective than Aspirin when it comes to preventing dangerous clots.
If you feel that you have experienced any severe side effects after using this drug, consider contacting a product liability attorney for advice. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, the consultation is always free and confidential.
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Posted in Product Liability & Recalls.