MDL being considered for Pradaxa cases


At least 24 lawsuits alleging the blood thinner drug Pradaxa caused serious bleeding events and its manufacturer has failed to warn of this deadly side effect are awaiting word on whether they’ll be combined into Multidistrict Litigation in federal court.

According to a report from The Madison/St. Clair Record, an online legal journal, half the 24 known complaints have already been filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. They accuse drug maker Boehringer-Ingelheim of hiding data which showed its drug Pradaxa led to serious bleeding events, specifically gastrointestinal and cerebral hemorrhaging. 

Pradaxa has only been on the market since 2010 but it has accounted for more than 255 patient deaths, mostly due to severe bleeding episodes that could not be stopped in time to save a person’s life. In many patients who suffer this side effect, even small cuts or bruises can lead to serious internal bleeding.

The drug was designed to supplant the decades-old Warfarin as a blood thinner that prevented blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke. It is prescribed to patients with a temporary form of atrial fibrillation. Unlike Warfarin, Pradaxa has no antidote, making it nearly impossible to stop severe bleeding from spreading through the body.

Multidistrict Litigation combines lawsuits making similar accusations and is meant to expedite the pre-trial process. It is touted for creating court decisions that are difficult to appeal on evidentiary matters and prevents inconsistent rulings.