States Take Legal Action Against Drug Makers over Plavix, Other Drugs with Allegedly Deceptive Marketing Claims

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States Take Legal Action Against Drug Makers over Plavix
States Take Legal Action Against Drug Makers over Plavix

Overview: State authorities have been taking drug makers to court over allegedly deceptive marketing claims the company makes about certain drugs. Plavix (clopidogrel), which is a drug that is already the subject of numerous personal injury lawsuits, is one of the drugs in question. Reuters reports that the attorneys general of Mississippi and West Virginia have sued Bristol-Myers and Sanofi, the manufacturers of Plavix over claims made about the efficacy of the blood thinner compared to Aspirin. According to Reuters, states have also filed lawsuits over J&J’s Risperdal and GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia.

  • Several states are suing drug manufacturers alleging they made deceptive claims about certain drugs
  • The attorneys general of West Virginia and Mississippi have sued BMS and Sanofi alleging that they falsely marketed Plavix as being more effective than Aspirin; they also allege that the companies should have known that some patients cannot metabolize Plavix
  • Sanofi is also being investigated by the DOJ over disclosures it made about Plavix

Product: Plavix® (clopidogrel)  

Manufacturer: Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Side Effects & Complications 

  •       Cerebral hemorrhage
  •       Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)
  •       Gastrointestinal bleeding
  •       Ulcers
  •       Internal bleeding
  •       Bone marrow damage
  •       Heart attack
  •       Stroke
  •       Death

 

Mississippi, West Virginia Suing BMS over Plavix

Both states allege that the companies falsely and deceptively marketed Plavix as being more effective than Aspirin for treating patients at risk for stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular events. The states’ lawsuits also allege that the companies should have known that Plavix may not be properly metabolized in certain patients; according to the suits, the companies delayed disclosure of this information in order to protect sales of the blockbuster medications. Mississippi and West Virginia are not the only government forces who suspect Plavix makers of wrongdoing. Last month, Sanofi revealed in its annual report that it was being investigated by the United States Department of Justice over disclosures it made about Plavix.

Plavix Background and Lawsuits

Plavix is a blood thinner that was approved in 1997 to reduce the risk of blood clot, stroke and heart attack in high risk patients. In addition to the states’ lawsuits, it is the subject of numerous personal injury lawsuits filed on behalf of patients who took the drug. Plaintiffs in these cases also allege that the companies falsely led them or their doctors to believe that Plavix was superior to Aspirin, even though research suggests otherwise. Plaintiffs allege bleeding injuries such as gastrointestinal bleeding, cerebral bleeding and other potentially fatal injuries.