A huge litigation has sprung up around the new generation anticoagulant Xarelto, a drug that many experts and patients say causes severe forms of bleeding at far higher rates than traditional rates.
- 18,000 personal injury lawsuits
- Consolidated MDL in Lousiana
Did you or a loved one experience severe bleeding while taking the blood thinner Xarelto? Our experienced product liability attorneys can help. Contact our lawyers today for a free consultation at no obligation.
Our attorneys remain committed to pursuing justice on behalf of injured Xarelto patients and their loved ones.
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Did you notice a TV commercial alerting current and former blood thinner patients to a growing litigation around the anticoagulant drug Xarelto? These ads are produced by various law firms advertising their services. While our own product liability lawyers do not produce commercials, we are dedicated to providing consumers with up-to-date information on our nation’s most important litigations.
Xarelto Ads Inform Viewers Of Bleeding Lawsuits
To date, nearly 19,000 patients and families have filed suit against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, the two companies behind the manufacture and marketing Xarelto in the United States. One of several “new generation” blood thinners to reach the market in recent years, Xarelto was advertised as a big step forward in the treatment of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. The drug featured a number of strengths that set it above traditional anticoagulants, like warfarin, according to its manufacturers.
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Chief among these distinctions was that one dose would be appropriate for all patients, eliminating the need for routine blood testing. And compared to warfarin, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson claimed, Xarelto provided similar or better results, with fewer side effects.
Patients: Xarelto Is Dangerous
But in the thousands, injured patients and grieving families say that all of these claims were false. In a wave of federal lawsuits, patients and their loved ones accuse Johnson & Johnson and Bayer of concealing the true risks of Xarelto from the public.
Rather than causing fewer complications, lawsuits claim, Xarelto has been linked to higher rates of major bleeding and internal gastrointestinal bleeds. Some plaintiffs even accuse the companies of falsifying clinical trial results.
Is Xarelto Really “One-Size-Fits-All”?
And the promise that a single dose would be appropriate for every patient, no matter their pre-existing medical conditions or lifestyle? That’s only true if you’re not concerned about the risk of bleeding, patients say. In reality, lawsuits claim, encouraging doctors to monitor a patient’s ability to clot blood and adjust their dosage could have saved lives that were lost to Xarelto-related injuries.
No Reversal Agent
On an even more basic level, the plaintiffs in this massive litigation believe that Xarelto was never safe enough to approve in the first place. Their reasoning? The drug was released without an antidote, a complimentary medication that could reverse the anticoagulant effects. That leaves doctors and trauma physicians helpless when a Xarelto patient shows up to the emergency room with injuries, or a case of internal bleeding.
Warfarin, on the other hand, is different. With a simple shot of Vitamin K or donor blood plasma, physicians can effectively reverse the blood thinner’s anti-clotting effect, allowing blood clots to form and stem the tide of bleeding.
Warfarin Is Better, Plaintiffs Say
This is a major difference, plaintiffs note. Warfarin, they argue, should be considered safer as a matter-of-course, simply because it comes with effective reversal options. Xarelto didn’t when it was approved and it still doesn’t. A company in San Francisco, Portola Pharmaceuticals, put a lot of time and money into developing a Xarelto antidote, but it has yet to gain FDA approval. Moreover, plaintiffs say Johnson & Johnson and Bayer significantly downplayed the lack of a reversal agent in advertisements and the drug’s warning label.
These, then, are the alleged problems that patients and families have highlighted in thousands of Xarelto lawsuits: the drug causes more severe bleeding than competitors, should not be prescribed as a one-size-fits-all dosage and was approved without an antidote. Needless to say, both Johnson & Johnson and Bayer vigorously deny all of these allegations.
Xarelto Lawsuits Consolidated In New Orleans
The majority of Xarelto lawsuits are now “consolidated” in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. In New Orleans, District Judge Eldon Fallon has presided over Multi-District Litigation 2592, Xarelto Products Liability Litigation. Judge Fallon has overseen the process of discovery, in which plaintiffs and the two defendant corporations have exchanged information and evidence. And now, the consolidated cases are ready for trial.
That’s why, with the collaboration of plaintiffs’ attorneys and defense counsel, Judge Fallon has scheduled a total of 40 bellwether trials. These cases will go to trial before thousands of others, providing both sides in the dispute with valuable strategic lessons and real-world data to leverage in settlement negotiations.
At this point, only three of these bellwether cases have actually gone to trial. And, while all three have ended in jury verdicts for the defense, our experienced attorneys remain committed to this litigation. We believe that the case against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer is strong, and that plaintiffs will win out in the end. There are still 37 bellwether trials to go and no one can predict what future juries will decide. Furthermore, a series of bellwether losses do not mean that patients will never secure financial compensation.
When thousands of patients filed suit over the medication Vioxx, the drug’s manufacturer, Merck, won the vast majority of 19 bellwether trials. Yet the company still settled the majority of cases for nearly $5 billion. As we said earlier, bellwether defeats are not the end for plaintiffs.