An astonishing 18,000 injured patients have already filed Xarelto lawsuits in federal and state courts across the country. The popular “new generation” blood thinner has been linked to a host of severe side effects:
This litigation is now closed. The Product Lawyers are actively working in similar cases including Elmiron. Learn more: Elmiron Lawsuit TV Commercial – IC Medicine May Cause Retinal Injury
Xarelto is one of the world’s most popular new blood thinners, promising millions of aFib patients an effective alternative to traditional anticoagulants like warfarin. But the drug was released without an antidote, leaving doctors without any way to reverse uncontrollable – and potentially fatal – bleeding events. Nearly 19,000 patients and families have now filed Xarelto lawsuits, and this massive litigation is moving quickly.
The vast majority of federal Xarelto lawsuits have been consolidated in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana since December 2014.
As a Multi-District Litigation, or MDL, claims filed in federal courts across the country are being transferred to New Orleans, where plaintiffs can collaborate in developing evidence and arguments. MDL is a legal mechanism used when multiple lawsuits share similar factual allegations and legal issues.
Instead of litigating their disputes separately, the Xarelto plaintiffs have come together, gaining in efficiency and speed. Likewise, Xarelto’s manufacturer, Bayer, can now easily dispute accusations in a global manner, rather than filing motions in federal courts scattered around the United States.
Multi-District Litigation is largely geared to encourage settlements, rather than protracted litigation. In line with this goal, District Judge Eldon Fallon has scheduled a slate of initial “bellwether” trials, in which both sides in the dispute will be able to air their arguments and evidence before real juries.
These first trials will help to gauge the case’s strength; are actual juries convinced that Xarelto is an unreasonably dangerous blood thinner, as thousands of plaintiffs allege? Did Bayer and Xarelto co-marketer Johnson & Johnson fail to provide doctors and patients with adequate warnings? These judgments could then come to impact settlement negotiations, as both patients and Bayer learn more about where they stand.
Because the Xarelto litigation is particularly large, Judge Fallon has selected a total of 40 cases for trial. And three of these lawsuits have already gone to trial. Unfortunately, in all three, federal juries have found in favor of the defense, ruling that Bayer and Johnson & Johnson did not fail to warn the public and medical community of the drug’s bleeding risks.
Despite these preliminary losses, plaintiffs attorneys are determined to fight on and convinced that future juries will be persuaded to hold Bayer and Johnson & Johnson liable.
Xarelto is a brand-name prescription blood thinner manufactured by Bayer and marketed in the United States by the Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit of Johnson & Johnson. Xarelto is different from other blood thinners because it belongs to a certain class of drugs called Xa inhibitors, meaning that it keeps blood from clotting by blocking the chemical responsible for that function, thrombin. The active ingredient in Xarelto is rivaroxaban.
Since its release onto the market in 2011, over 11 million prescriptions for Xarelto have been written by physicians across the country. The drug’s initial popularity among patients and doctors was due to the fact that each prescription of the anticoagulant came as a uniform dose. Starting a patient on a Xarelto regimen didn’t require the customized treatment plans and specialized diets that other popular blood thinners do, Bayer argued, giving doctors and patients around the world new hope.
The drug’s manufacturers marketed the drug as more convenient because there is no required blood monitoring and testing with a Xarelto regimen.
But thousands of patients and grieving families say these pharmaceutical marketing claims were all lies. Xarelto, they say in their lawsuits, is much safer when physicians take dosing considerations into account; telling doctors otherwise simply increases the risk for devastating bleeding events.
And while all anticoagulant drugs pose a risk for excessive bleeding, Xarelto was released onto the market without an antidote. The effects of the traditional blood thinner warfarin, on the other hand, can be quickly reversed if bleeding should occur. Nor were Bayer and Johnson & Johnson forthright in their presentation of Xarelto’s true bleeding complications, the plaintiffs claim, citing a number of medical studies that have shown higher risks. All this renders Xarelto a dangerous, improperly-marketed drug, patients say, one that should never have been released without an effective antidote.
Despite the huge litigation that has grown up around these allegations, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson continue to reap major financial rewards from selling Xarelto. In the first quarter of 2012, Xarelto prescriptions were written for 130,000 residents of the United States and in 2013 alone, Xarelto sales made Bayer $1.3 billion. These sales are expected to rise in the coming years. In its World Preview, EvaluatePharma estimated that Xarelto will generate $3.7 billion in sales by 2018, making it the 19th best-selling drug in the world if these estimates prove true. These predicted sales will also be a dramatic increase in the drugs initial revenue, which was $596 million in 2012.
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