Manufacturers of the anticoagulant drug Xarelto are facing lawsuits throughout the nation. Many people who have taken Xarelto have been seriously harmed by the anticoagulant (blood thinner). While all blood thinners carry the risk of internal bleeding, Xarelto lacks an antidote to stop the bleeding when it starts.
What is Xarelto?
Xarelto is a “once a day” pill prescribed for a condition that affects about 3 million Americans called atrial fibrillation. This condition causes blood to pool in a storage chamber of the heart where it can clot and travel to the brain. Xarelto was developed by Johnson & Johnson with Bayer AG to prevent this from happening.
Johnson & Johnson is expected to face mounting lawsuits because of claims that they were aware of the dangers of Xarelto, yet they continue to market their product aggressively, claiming it is safe. Xarelto is similar to another blood thinner, Pradaxa, that is also associated with bleeding accidents and heart problems. It is also associated with numerous lawsuits.
Still, the manufacturer continues to market Xarelto with its uncontrolled bleeding dangers that could allow even a minor accident to become very serious, very quickly. Pending lawsuits allege that the manufacturers engaged in:
failure to warn about the known dangers of the drug; and
unreasonable marketing of an unsafe drug.
As a result of these aggressive marketing efforts, nearly 130,000 prescriptions in the U.S. were filled within the first three months that the drug was on the market. Johnson & Johnson received huge profits from this.
However, people on the receiving end of these prescriptions were at increased risk for life-threatening bleeds during the time they used the drug, and most were not even aware.
The Huffington Post reported that top heart doctors throughout the U.S. had grave concerns about both of the newer blood thinners on the market: Xarelto and Pradaxa. Xarelto was allegedly linked to 968 adverse events (including 72 deaths) during the first 8 months of 2013. In 2012, Xarelto was linked to 750 adverse events, including 58 deaths. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices, an organization that is dedicated to safe medication use and protecting the public,
“identified 356 reports of serious, disabling, or fatal injury in which rivaroxaban
[the generic form of Xarelto] was the primary suspect drug. The report more than doubled from the previous quarter total of 128 cases.”
No Antidote for Pradaxa or Xarelto
All blood thinners carry the risk of internal bleeding, but older drugs contain an emergency antidote to prevent deadly bleeding events, and Xarelto does not.
Xarelto cannot be flushed out of the system through dialysis either, making it extremely risky and sometimes fatal for those who have ingested the drug. Patients who took warfarin needed to be monitored closely and were supposed to have regular blood tests.
They also needed to implement dietary and lifestyle changes. Manufacturers of Xarelto claimed that such close monitoring would not be necessary for this new blood thinner.
First and foremost, if you are currently taking Xarelto, do not stop taking it until you have discussed it with your doctor. J&J has been accused of failure to warn consumers and doctors about important safety information.
Injured victims also claim that these pharmaceutical giants did not test the drug enough before it was aggressively marketed. If you or a loved one has experienced any of the following outcomes while taking Xarelto that was prescribed by a doctor, you may be able to receive compensation:
Death due to uncontrolled bleeding
You may experience financial hardships, like medical bills from emergency visits, ongoing care or lost wages, as well as emotional distress from caring for a suffering loved one who had medical problems related to Xarelto. All of these are outcomes which could have possibly been avoided, if those taking the drug been aware of the risks and had the opportunity to make a different choice.
By: Kay Van Wey | February 7th, 2016