Johnson & Johnson’s novel blood thinning drug Xarelto has been on a meteoric rise since its introduction in 2011. In recent years, it has racked up additional FDA approvals and eclipsed both competitors Eliquis and Pradaxa in sales.
In its latest report to investors, J&J announced that Xarelto has sold $1,094,000,000 in just the first 9 months of the year. That’s up 85% from the same period last year. And, with sales topping $414,000,000 for the third quarter alone, the drug is on pace to keep growing.
However, Xarelto faces an increasing amount of scrutiny as well. The FDA and European health officials have received thousands of reports of patients being hospitalized or killed by internal bleeding while on Xarelto.
The American Heart Association warned that Xareto could triple to quadruple the risk of internal bleeding in patients who are acutely ill or have ACS, and the AMA last year reported that new anticoagulants like Xarelto can double the risk of bleeding when taken with aspirin.
The new crop of blood thinners have routinely been ranked among the most dangerous of all drugs by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices since they don’t offer an antidote to stop emergency bleeding.
The UK's NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) last month formally recommended that Xarelto be used daily to prevent recurrence of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), however, the drug has faced resistance for such use in the U.S. given the risks outlined in the AHA study.
Now, patient lawsuits alleging injury or death are on the rise as well. Lawsuits filed against Xarelto in at least 10 states may be combined into a new federal multidistrict court next month to streamline the litigation process. The media attention of such a move could attract more patients who have suffered injury.
For now, use of Xarelto looks to continue to increase until there is a safer alternative. A new report from IMS Health found that it is the 24th most prescribed drug in the United States, with over 5.7 million prescriptions from October 2013 through Sept 2014.
For a more detailed chronicle of Xarelto news, click here. Or, a DrugNews consumer advocate can give you the latest information and help you find a lawyer if you’ve been hospitalized while using the drug.
Johnson & Johnson Reports 2014 Third-Quarter Results. Johnson & Johnson. (October 14, 2014). Retrieved from http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/JNJ/2808784307x0x786252/8cef0314-35dd-452d-8de0-8b4e85fe77bf/JNJ_News_2014_10_14_Financial_Releases.pdf
Staff, W. NICE Recommends Bayer's Rivaroxaban as Option for Secondary Prevention in ACS. Pharmaceutical Business Review. (October 24, 2014). Retrieved from http://www.pharmaceutical-business-review.com/news/nice-recommends-bayers-rivaroxaban-as-option-for-secondary-prevention-in-acs-241014-4416394
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