Pradaxa Lawsuits Allege Gastrointestinal, Brain Bleeding
Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) is a blood thinner, used to reduce the risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attack. Pradaxa is a new-generation anticoagulant prescribed to patients with atrial fibrillation (an abnormal heart rhythm that increases the risk of a blood clot) and deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism. Pradaxa can also be used to prevent blood clots in patients who recently underwent a knee or hip replacement. Lawsuits filed over Pradaxa allege that the drug caused a bleeding injury, such as gastrointestinal or brain hemorrhaging, and that drug makers failed to adequately disclose the risks.
The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing clients in drug injury lawsuits. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a Pradaxa lawsuit.
Pradaxa was introduced in 2010. It was the first in a new generation of anticoagulants marketed as a competitor to warfarin (brand name: Coumadin). Warfarin is a decades-old anticoagulant that was formerly the first line of treatment. The drug has its drawbacks, including the need for regular blood monitoring and food/drug interactions. Lawsuits allege that, while Pradaxa does not have these restrictions, until recently the drug lacked an antidote.
By nature, blood thinners make it harder for blood to clot. While this is necessary for patients with certain conditions, it also means there is some risk of excessive bleeding. If uncontrollable bleeding does occur in patients taking an anticoagulant, having an antidote to reverse the drug’s effects is vital. Pradaxa and other new generation blood thinners, such as Xarelto and Eliquis, lacked a reversal agent. Conversely, warfarin can be countered with vitamin K.
A Pradaxa reversal agent was approved by the FDA in October 2015. Lawsuits allege that patients and their physicians were not warned about the lack of an antidote prior to this, and allege they would have chosen a different treatment option if they were informed.
In the years following Pradaxa’s release, court documents indicate that some 4,000 lawsuits were filed alleging bleeding complications. Some 750 lawsuits were filed on behalf of people who died, allegedly due to Pradaxa side effects. Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to settle Pradaxa bleeding lawsuits for $650 million on the eve of trial.
Xarelto, Eliquis Lawsuits
Pradaxa is not the only new generation anticoagulant subject to litigation. Injury claims have also been filed over Eliquis and Xarelto. The allegations are similar to Pradaxa lawsuits, with plaintiffs alleging that the blood thinners caused uncontrollable bleeding and that manufacturers failed to warn about the lack of an antidote.
An Eliquis lawsuit was filed on Oct. 12, 2016 in California Superior Court. Manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Inc. were named as defendants. The plaintiff is a California man with atrial fibrillation. He was prescribed Eliquis to reduce the risk of blood clot, stroke and other related complications. According to the complaint, he suffered intracerebral hemorrhaging, a type of brain bleed, allegedly due to Eliquis.
Eliquis bleeding lawsuits have been consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. MDLs are created to streamline the legal process; it is a type of mass tort where similar lawsuits are transferred to one court before one judge.
Court records show that a Xarelto wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of a man who died in March 2015. According to the complaint, He took the anticoagulant from February 2014 through February 2015. He suffered from bleeding in the lungs, stroke, multiple cardiopulmonary arrests, respiratory failure and septic shock. The lawsuit alleges that these complications stemmed from Xarelto use. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit and Bayer Healthcare allegedly knew of the risks but failed to warn the patient or his doctor.
An MDL has also been established for Xarelto lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon. The first Xarelto bellwether trial is slated to begin on Mar. 13, 2017 and the second is scheduled to begin April 24th. Bellwether trials are used to predict the outcome of the remaining litigation; they are the first lawsuits in an MDL to be heard by jurors.
The first two bellwether cases involve plaintiffs who took Xarelto to reduce the risk of blood clots associated with atrial fibrillation. One lawsuit was filed on behalf of a plaintiff who suffered brain bleeding, and the other gastrointestinal bleeding. The plaintiffs allege that Xarelto caused these complications.
Filing a Pradaxa Lawsuit
If you or someone you know suffered uncontrollable bleeding related to the use of Pradaxa, you may have valuable legal rights. Our personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).