Many patients in need of a blood thinning medication thought a new drug Xarelto® was the answer to their problem. Xarelto was marketed as better than warfarin, an older medication, and it did not require patients to undergo frequent blood tests. Unfortunately, however, the use of Xarelto came with a heavy price – uncontrolled bleeding and no antidote to stop the bleeding.
Individuals using Xarelto have experienced internal or gastrointestinal bleeding, brain hemorrhages, hemorrhagic strokes and death from bleeding that would not stop. According to Quarter Watch, Xarelto accounted for 10,674 serious adverse event reports in calendar year 2015 with 1,121 deaths and 4,508 injuries requiring hospitalization.
Xarelto is manufactured by Bayer AG and in calendar year 2014, Xarelto accounted for sales totaling 3.5 billion euros. For calendar year 2015, Xarelto sales increased 34% from calendar year 2014.
Warfarin, a generic drug, has been on the market since 1956. It is effective and because it is generic it is inexpensive. However, warfarin requires frequent blood test to see how long it take for the blood to clot. Physicians order prothrombin time tests to check for bleeding problems. According to Bayer, patients taking Xarelto do not require blood testing. However, may be they should. Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting your doctor.
Because thousands of lawsuits have been filed over injuries caused by Xarelto, this litigation is referred to as a mass tort. Mass tort litigation almost always evolves into multidistrict litigation. Multidistrict litigation allows individual claims to be pooled together for discovery of common facts that can be used by all claimants against the defendants. This can be beneficial as it reduces the cost of a lawsuit. However, there are disadvantages if you do not select the right law firm for your individual case.
The Xarelto litigation is a multidistrict litigation. The cases are consolidated before Judge Eldon Fallon in the federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana. As of May, 2016, there were approximately 5,200 claims pending. Judge Fallon has set bellwether trial dates for February and March 2017. Bellwether trials are simply designed for plaintiffs and defendants to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a case. They are valuable in that both parties, as well as judges, see the how the cases are assessed by jurors. Often bellwether trials lead to settlement discussions.
Almost all Xarelto lawsuits focus on whether the manufacturers of Xarelto properly studied the risks of their drug before the products was entered into the market. These cases are classic failure to warn cases. In simple terms the primary claim is that the manufacturer failed to warn users and doctors of the true risks associated with their product.
The law requires the manufacturer of prescription medicine to properly study a drugs risk profile before it is launched in the marketplace. Further, the law requires a manufacturer of a prescription drug to properly monitor adverse event reports and based on the adverse event reports to make changes to the label of a drug to inform the physician and the user of the risks and benefits of the drug.
Many individuals believe that the Food & Drug Administration studies drugs before they are marketed to individuals. This is not the case. All the FDA does is approve or not approve a drug based on the data the drug manufacturer submits to the FDA. It is the manufacturers’ sole responsibility to design appropriate studies and based on those studies to develop an appropriate label to inform users and doctors of the risks and benefits.
How do I know if my use of Xarelto caused my injury?
At the Esparza Law Group each case is evaluated on an individually. This means that each case must stand on its own. We order all medical records, analyze the records for the unique facts of your case, we evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, focusing on contributing factors. In the end your case must have merit or we will not file a lawsuit.
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Many firms accept as many clients as possible. We do not. We select only a few. Some say we are exclusive. We say is just how legal services should be delivered to the client. In mass tort litigation, such as the Xarelto litigation, you really need individual attention because the cases are extremely complicated. Ask your-self, how a law firm can give my case the time it deserves when they have accepted thousands of similar cases. Don’t accept less. Be one of the few. You are not a commodity.
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