Overview: Parker Waichman LLP has filed lawsuits on behalf of 18 Plavix users who suffered gastrointestinal bleeding. The suits allege that manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis falsely touted the blood thinner as safe and effective without properly testing the drug for side effects.
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
The suits were filed on May 30th in the Supreme Court of New York, County of New York. According to Parker Waichman’s press release, one of the complaints was filed on behalf of a woman from Polk County, Iowa who suffered from gastrointestinal hemorrhaging less than a year after starting Plavix; she began taking the drug in November 2009 and experienced the injury in June 2010. Another Plaintiff, a woman from Butler, Missouri, started Plavix in March 2008 and experienced two gastrointestinal hemorrhages in June and September of 2009. All 18 suits allege severe and permanent injuries, physical impairment and disfigurement, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and past, present and future medical expenses.
The lawsuits also alleged that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis failed to adequately assess the blood thinner for safety and effectiveness, exposing users to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood disorders and excessive bleeding. The manufacturers have also allegedly made false claims about the drug in stating that it is better than aspirin-supposedly because it is easier on the stomach. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005 contradicted this notion, finding that patients taking aspirin plus esomeprazole had lower rates of ulcer bleeding than those taking Plavix alone.
Plavix was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997 to prevent blood clots, stroke and heart attack in patients who have a history of these disorders. By 2005, it had become the sixth best selling drug in the United Stated with annual sales of $3.5 billion. The patent on the blockbuster drug expire last month, making way for generic versions.