When the dust settled last May on years of litigation over bleeding risks from the blockbuster anticoagulant Pradaxa, German manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim had agreed to pay $650 million to compensate around 4,000 patients and surviving family members.
The problem with the settlement, legal experts pointed out, was that Pradaxa was still being prescribed to millions of new patients with little warning of the potential for internal bleeding. And, those hospitalized after May 2014 would not receive compensation.
Not fair, said a group of leading drug injury law firms, who have commenced plans to start new Pradaxa litigation in a different court this year.
Previous was introduced in 2010 and quickly became the leading alternative to traditional drug warfarin as a preventative of strokes in those with atrial fibrillation. By 2012 it was used by millions worldwide, with yearly sales over $1 billion.
However, reports piled up of patients suffering serious internal bleeding that couldn’t be stopped even with emergency hospitalization. The FDA has now received over 17,000 side effect reports, as well as notices of over 1,800 deaths among Pradaxa patients.
Although the risk is present with all blood thinners, others carry an antidote just for this purpose. No one taking Pradaxa was told about the lack of a bleeding antidote, only the advantages of the drug over others.
Add to the mix reports that maker Boeringer Ingelheim had destroyed data and hidden studies that would have warned patients about the need to control Pradaxa dosages to prevent bleeding, and the company was forced to pay millions to avoid embarrassing litigation.
Originally, the thousands of lawsuits were combined into one federal court in Illinois. However, that venue is now closed for new cases. Lawyers expect to file the new cases in a special state court, with new evidence and expert witnesses.
Most importantly, lawyers say these cases will likely be taken to trial before a settlement is reached, which could add even more value for those injured.
DrugNews is closely monitoring the new Pradaxa litigation and can connect you directly with the lawyers handling these cases. Call us today to discuss your case and see if you may qualify for free legal help.
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