Oklahomans who have used the blood-thinning drug, Xarelto, and Oklahomans who have loved ones who have used the drug, should take note of a growing number of lawsuits linking the drug to severe, uncontrollable bleeding, sometimes resulting in death.
The attorneys at Hasbrook & Hasbrook are providing free legal consultation to Xarelto patients and their loved ones who have experienced serious adverse effects from the relatively new drug. Lawsuits are emerging across the country accusing the drug’s manufacturer, Bayer, and its U.S. distributor, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, of failing to warn doctors and the public of the possible dangers of using the blood-thinning drug.
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) gained FDA approval for use in the U.S.in 2011; it was approved in Europe and Canada in 2008. It has quickly become one of the nation’s most popular prescription drugs, with $1.3 billion in sales for the 12-month period ending in March 2014.
Xarelto, an anticoagulant (“direct thrombin inhibitor”), is prescribed to patients who are vulnerable to blood clots, such as patients who have had a hip or knee replacement or have non-valvular atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).
The blood thinner was developed to prevent blood clots, specifically deep vein thrombosis (blood clot deep in the body, usually in a leg) and pulmonary embolism (blood clot in a lung). The drug also aims to prevent strokes which sometimes result from blood clots. In the U.S., venous thromboembolisms kill more people than traffic accidents, breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS combined.
Xarelto has been promoted by its manufacturer and distributors as a desirable alternative to other anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin), which requires frequent monitoring to adjust dosage, and heparin, which is administered by injection. Xarelto is taken orally and does not require frequent monitoring.
However, the danger of Xarelto is that there is no known reversal agent to counteract its anticoagulating effect. If a patient develops internal bleeding, it is extremely difficult for doctors to stop the bleeding, sometimes resulting in death. In comparison, warfarin’s anticoagulation can be quickly reversed by administering Vitamin K.
Xarelto is following a similar path to that of Pradaxa, an anticoagulant approved in 2010 and also marketed as an alternative to warfarin and other anticoagulants. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed that blame Pradaxa for internal bleeding, including gastrointestinal bleeding and cerebral hemorrhages that doctors were unable to stop due to Pradaxa’s anti-clotting effect.
Warfarin (Coumadin) was approved by the FDA in 1954 and continues to be a very popular anticoagulant. Because warfarin has a reversal agent, plaintiffs in Xarelto and Pradaxa lawsuits contend that the drugs’ manufacturers should not have promoted the drugs as good alternatives to warfarin, at least without including a strong warning about the dire consequences if a patient experiences internal bleeding.
In June 2013, the FDA issued a warning to Johnson & Johnson, stating that its advertisements promoting Xarelto were “false or misleading because it minimizes the risks associated with Xarelto.”
Lawsuits Being Filed
Lawsuits have been filed against Bayer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson & Johnson in several states, including Texas, Pennsylvania and Vermont. A newspaper in Germany, location of Bayer international headquarters, reported in June that fewer than ten Xarelto lawsuits were pending against the country.
More lawsuits have been filed since then, and many observers expect the number to keep growing, as has been the case with Pradaxa lawsuits. More than 2500 Pradaxa lawsuits have now been consolidated in a federal multidistrict litigation, according to a July 15 report of the U.S. Panel for Multidistrict Litigation.
If You were Hurt After Using Xarelto, Our Oklahoma Product Liabilty Lawyers Can Help
If you have experienced a serious bleeding event after using Xarelto, or if you have a loved one who died from internal bleeding after using Xarelto, you may be entitled to compensation for your harms and losses. Contact the product liability attorneys at Hasbrook and Hasbrook for a free consultation. You may reach us by telephone (866-416-4737), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by using our online contact form.