Blood-Thinning Drug Xarelto Cases Approach Trial Dates

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In late 2015, a petition for an order of consolidation was filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) in Xarelto injury and death claims against manufacturers, Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Claims shared by plaintiffs include an undue risk of harm associated with the use of Xarelto and allege the anticoagulant is responsible for sustained injuries, the Digital Journal reports.

In December, the JPML issued their approval citing conservation of resources for all parties involved and streamlining of the judicial process as the basis of its decision. Judge Eldon Fallon was appointed to oversee the MDL in the Eastern District of Louisiana. At the present time, parties are selecting bellwether cases for trial, a measure intended to facilitate the legal proceedings once the MDL cases go to trial.

Xarelto was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 and its purpose was mainly to prevent blood clots from forming in patients recovering from knee or hip replacement surgeries as well as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Shortly thereafter, it was approved for the purpose of stroke prevention in individuals suffering from atrial fibrillation.

This “new generation” anticoagulant was initially hailed as a miracle drug as it was more convenient for the user as it did not require strict and regular blood testing as well as no need for the rigid diet constraints of the more established Coumadin (warfarin). The down side to the newer medication, as alleged by many individuals, Xarelto “exposed them to an elevated risk of catastrophic bleeding episodes, which would necessitate drastic medical intervention.” These episodes may cause lasting damage that could require continued care or result in death.

The plaintiffs of the upcoming MDL allege that the drug companies are guilty of negligence as they neglected to sufficiently warn the public as well as the medical community of the potential risks, according to the Digital Journal.