Sales in 2016 for the extremely popular blood thinner Xarelto reached over $3.2 Billion. But in their hustle to make some money, Xarelto manufacturer Johnson & Johnson may have cut a few corners in letting their patients know the various side effects of their drug. One such risk has to do with internal and external bleeding. In total over 20,000 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer for this and other potentially deadly side effects and a Philadelphia jury recently handed down a major win for patients (the first plaintiff win for the Xarelto suits) in the form of s $28 Million verdict.
Bloomberg reports on the details of the large verdict, "Lynn Hartman said she took Xarelto sold by J&J's Jansen Pharmaceutical unit for more than a year before being hospitalized in 2014 with gastointestinal bleeding she blamed on the drug." As a result of the "bleed-out effects" Xarelto caused, 75 year-old Hartman had to receive 4 blood transfusions and switch to a drug that did not cause all the bleeding complications. The Philadelphia jury ultimately sided with Hartman and ordered the drug companies to pay her $1.8 Million in actual damages and $26 Million in punitive damages. As is common with most large verdicts, Johnson & Johnson have already announced plans to appeal the verdict.
Xarelto is taken for everything from knee and hip replacement surgery to pulmonary embolisms to atrial fibrillation. Most drugs have side effects which is why working with a doctor that knows your needs and medical history is always the appropriate way to approach any new medication. What is at issue here is not that there are major side effects but rather that the manufacturer did an insufficient job at warning patients of the side effects. To date, the FDA has attributed 370 Xarelto-related deaths and thousands of adverse reactions. In addition to a black box warning related to bleeding issues, the FDA also issued a Xarelto black box warning related to spine and neck issues.
Have you been injured by Xarelto or another dangerous drug and not sure what to do next? Do not hesitate to get in touch with Walch Law to discuss your case further. This unique area of law and medicine is extremely complicated and it can often be confusing where your injury ends and the damage the drug is causing begins. We can help-- it just takes one call. We look forward to helping you.