Overview: Three families have filed lawsuits against the makers of Plavix, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi Aventis, alleging that the blood thinner caused fatal injuries in their loved ones. The suits were filed by Parker Waichman LLP on May 30th in the Supreme Court of New York, County of New York.
Product: Plavix (clopidogrel)
Manufacturer: Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Side Effects & Complications
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Internal bleeding
- Bone marrow damage
- Heart attack
Increased Risks and Injuries
According to Parker Waichman’s press release, Plavix caused fatal gastrointestinal and/or cerebral hemorrhaging in the Plaintiff-Decendents. One of the complaints was filed on behalf of the estate of a Rapides, Lousiana man, who began taking Plavix in 2002 and died of a cerebral hemorrhage last June. Another complaint was filed on behalf of a man from Ottowa, Michigan; he started the drug in July 2008 and suffered from two gastrointestinal hemorrhages and one cerebral hemorrhage leading to his death the following June. Yet another lawsuit involved a Plaintiff-Decedent from Bexar, Texas who developed a gastrointestinal hemorrhage in June 2010 and died that August. All of the lawsuits claim severe and permanent injuries, physical impairment and disfigurement, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and medical expenses related to the Plaintiff-decedent’s injuries.
According to the suits, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi Aventis falsely marketed Plavix as being safe and effective, despite the fact that the drug was never adequately tested to support these claims. As a result of their negligent and/or fraudulent actions, the lawsuits say, Plavix users are exposed to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood disorders and excessive bleeding. The manufacturers are being charged with negligence, three counts of strict products liability (defective design, manufacturing defect and failure to warn), breach of express and implied warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and deceit, consumer fraud, punitive damages and wrongful death.
In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Plavix for prevention of ischemic events in patients with a history of heart disease. Aspirin is also used for this purpose, but it is much less expensive and more easily accessible. According to the lawsuits, Plavix makers have made false or misleading claims in touting Plavix as a superior version of Aspirin-supposedly because it is more effective at preventing atherosclerotic events and is more tolerable on the stomach. The companies also assured that Plavix is safe when used in “dual therapy” or in combination with, Aspirin. However, research findings seem to contradict these assertions. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005 found that patients who took Aspirin with a heartburn pill had significantly lower rates of ulcer bleeding compared to those taking Plavix by itself. The following year, another study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Plavix-Aspirin dual therapy was not significantly more effective at preventing blood clot, stroke or heart attack than Aspirin alone.