April 21, 2015 — Federal judges have reported big gains in the size of the Xarelto litigation, with another 100 cases filed in the last month.
Over 400 lawsuits involving uncontrollable bleeding from Xarelto are now centralized under Judge Eldon E. Fallon in one federal court in Louisiana, Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2592).
An additional 180 cases are pending at the state-court level in Pennsylvania.
Lawsuits accuse Bayer HealthCare and Janssen Pharmaceuticals of aggressively marketing Xarelto as a “one-size-fits-all” blood-thinner, while downplaying the risk of irreversible bleeding.
Marketing materials continue to promote Xarelto with claims that “there is no need for routine blood tests” to adjust the dosage. However, an editorial published in JAMA last month recommended that “patient safety can be further improved through individualized dosing.”
A major difference between Xarelto and older blood-thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin), is that it lacks an effective reversal agent. If a patient on Xarelto is injured or needs emergency surgery, it may be extremely difficult for a doctor to de-activate the blood-thinning effects of Xarelto.
Another major difference between Xarelto and warfarin is price. In the United States, an annual prescription for warfarin costs $80-100, whereas Xarelto costs $3,000.
Bayer and Janssen are accused of downplaying Xarelto’s bleeding risks to boost corporate profits and “prevent any chances of their product’s registrations being delayed or rejected by the FDA.”