Fortunately, American consumers have never had greater access to the civil justice system and the right to seek compensation when harmed by dangerous products. And, with thousands of prescription drugs and medical devices on the market, patients have never faced more harm from side effects.
Drug and device injury litigation has heated up in recent years with billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for injured patients, and 2018 looks to be no different.
Here, DrugNews looks ahead to what are likely to be the biggest areas of drug and medical device litigation next year.
Xarelto: Trials Heating Up
On the market since 2012, Xarelto is the overwhelming leader in novel oral anticoagulant drugs for preventing blood clots and strokes. However, it’s also been linked to thousands of internal bleeding deaths.
Xarelto lawsuits have been ongoing since 2014 and now consist of over 20,000 cases – the largest pending drug injury litigation by far. But 2017 saw a 27% increase in the number of cases filed, and there’s no sign this will subside as use of the drug grows.
Things also heated up recently with the start of trials in 2017. After three straight verdicts for Bayer/J&J in a Louisiana federal court, a woman was awarded $28 million for her injuries in a Pennsylvania state court. Lawyers say this could signal a changing tide and more awards for injured patients in 2018.
Pradaxa: A Second Chance at Justice for Thousands
Like Xarelto, Pradaxa is a multi-billion dollar blood-thinning drug that has gained in popularity this decade. And similarly, it’s linked to deadly internal bleeding.
Pradaxa maker Boehringer Ingelheim already faced thousands of patient bleeding lawsuits years ago, which it paid $650 million to settle in 2014. However, armed now with new data and accusations that the company destroyed records and studies to hide the risks, lawyers have started a second round of lawsuits to help thousands of new victims.
There are now an estimated 6,000 bleeding injury or death cases pending in state courts across the country, about 150% the number at the time of the 2014 settlement. And lawyers expect the first trials will start in 2018, making this one to keep an eye on.
Invokana: Patient Lawsuit Rights Could Expire Soon
Invokana, a Johnson & Johnson drug designed to treat type 2 diabetes, is the 7th highest-selling diabetes drug overall and leader of the new SGLT2 class. However, reports continue to surface of new side effects like ketoacidosis, kidney disease and lower limb amputations.
And although Invokana lawsuits have been around since 2016, rumors abound that J&J is trying to settle many of these in 2017 and 2018.
Therefore, 2018 may be the last chance for those affected by Invokana side effects to seek compensation.
DePuy: Attune Knee Dangers
Having just finished paying billions of dollars in settlements for its metallic hip implants, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy/Synthes Orthopedics brand now faces a new wave of cases for its popular Attune knee implant.
The Attune was billed as the single largest research & development project ever for DePuy Synthes when it was launched in 2013. Since then, reports have suggested the devices often fail early due to improper bonding with lower leg bones. This leads to painful revision surgery much earlier than expected.
DePuy has sold an estimated 60,000 Attune knee implants. Based on this, lawyers estimate thousands of patients bearing device failure injuries may file lawsuits in 2018.
Talc: Will Massive Verdicts Continue in 2018?
There’s nothing new about talcum powder. After all, it’s been used in baby powder products since around 1893. What is new though is countless studies showing the mineral can cause ovarian cancer, and reports that J&J covered up the risks of its Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products for decades.
So far, juries in just five talcum baby powder lawsuits have awarded a staggering $720 million. And, although J&J has succeeded in having some of these claims dismissed or verdicts overturned, they still face more than 1,000 cases.
2018 will be the year to watch to see if more massive verdicts are awarded, or if J&J finally decides to settle these cases.
The Latest in Drug Research and Litigation News
Over the years, DrugNews has helped thousands of consumers with questions about drug safety, research or FDA warnings. And, we’re continually updating our site with the latest breaking news.
We’ve also provided the most up-to-date news on drug injury litigation, and helped thousands speak directly to a lawyer for free to find out whether they qualify to join a lawsuit. Look for even more help in 2018, or contact us today to see what DrugNews can do for you.
Feeley, J. Bloomberg. (December 5, 2017). Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-05/j-j-bayer-ordered-to-pay-29-million-in-first-loss-over-xarelto
Helfand, C. et al. Top 10 Diabetes Drugs by 2016 Sales. FiercePharma. (June 8, 2017). Retrieved from https://www.fiercepharma.com/special-report/top-10-diabetes-drugs-by-2016-sales
Last summer, the Department of Justice unveiled the details of an ongoing lawsuit and resulting settlement against industrial giant 3M, claiming the company had furnished defective combat earplugs to millions of U.S. troops serving around the world.