Xarelto: Are the side effects worth it?
Bayer, the 150-year-old company responsible for multiple pharmaceutical controversies, is at it again. Along with the ongoing legal battles associated with their products Yasmin (or Yaz)—a contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy—Bayer has formulated yet another medicinal product known as Rivaroxaban. Under the trade name of Xarelto, this medicine is used as an oral anticoagulant to prevent venous thrombosis, or a blood clot formed within a vein.
The medicine earned Bayer a whopping $2 billion by the year 2013, about 5 years after the product's release. It defeated its competitor,
Because venous thrombosis is expected to form in patients who have recently undergone knee or hip replacement surgery, it's almost always prescribed to them. According to Wikipedia, the early stages of venous thrombosis in itself is a relatively harmless condition, causing minimal discomfort, however; the blockage will quickly worsen and become DVTs, or deep venous thromboses.
One of these “deep” blood clots can loosen, travel to the heart, and then block one of the main pulmonary arteries in the lungs. If that happens, the patient would be suffering from what is known as pulmonary embolism. This condition can be life-threatening, but with proper and timely treatment, it is relatively easily cured. However, this cure comes with a cost.
Whether a patient was suffering from a pulmonary embolism and is having it treated, or if they were expecting the formation of a deep venous thrombosis and chose to take steps to prevent it beforehand, the options are limited. Xarelto is by far the most commonly used treatment for this condition, but the patients who are being prescribed the pill are becoming all but treated.
Have they understated the deadly side effects?
In a detailed article, patients explain that they feel Bayer has “downplayed the medicine's bleeding risks". An astounding 65 deaths are being blamed on Xarelto for causing unmanageable bleeding. Because of this, hundreds of users are taking legal action against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a partner company which aids Bayer in the handling of Xarelto.
Legal action sheds light on compensation for injured plaintiffs.
A similar blood-thinning drug by the name of Pradaxa, manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim, was involved in a countless number of court cases and the cause of many adverse side effects that lead to serious injuries and death. On May 28th, 2014, the company elected to pay $650 million in compensation as settlements to 4,000 patients, each receiving around $162,500.
Bayer and J&J are attempting to minimize the stress associated with defending their product; they simply aren't willing to compensate the plaintiffs. Kristina Chang, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson, confidently claimed that “All anticoagulants carry the risk of bleeding, and the prescribing information for Xarelto has always warned of these risks.”
Because they're being overwhelmed with legal recourse, Bayer is electing to have all of the cases against Xarelto compiled into one case, inside of one courtroom, and handled by one judge. Who is the brave judge that has been selected to take on this hefty task? Patients have personally requested U.S. District Judge David Herndon of St. Louis, Illinois. So far, only 50 cases—which were originally spread across 15 different federal courts—have made it to Herndon, but the growing number shows hope for plaintiffs.
By compiling each and every suit (or a whole lot of them) in front of one judge, it will make the legal process for both parties considerably faster, as well as exceptionally less expensive. The large collection of documents would assist the attorneys representing both sides in preparing for litigation by posing as a large encyclopedia of the sorts. These documents would contain each and every complaint pertaining to Xarelto filed by plaintiffs and would make the discovery process easier for both sides.
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Even though Bayer and J&J trust in their product, and even though it has helped a significantly larger amount of patients than it has hurt, it's unreasonable for them to fight so vigorously against plaintiffs who are truly suffering from normal, intended use of the product. While it's normally true that the majority rules, when it comes to personal injury, each case should be handled as such—personally.
Because Bayer has received so much money from this product—$2 billion, as stated above—it's expected for them to be overprotective of it. No organization wants to give away their money, and Bayer is proving that by withholding compensation on injures consumers who clearly need the financial assistance. On top of it all, many families have lost loved ones to this product and are seeking compensation for wrongful death.
Here at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we represent plaintiffs in both scenarios with undying morality and honest practices. While we understand that the life of a loved one can never be replaced with even the largest sum of financial compensation, we also understand how much stress can build up and take over the life of the relatives. Medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and more can negatively hinder the life of an entire family. We're here to help.
If you or a loved one has suffered by using Xarelto, or if a loved one has died as an unexpected side effect of Xarelto, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today for a free consultation and case evaluation at (833) 606-DRUG .
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
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Clearwater, FL 33756
(833) 606-DRUG 
Practice Area: Defective Medications
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This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.