Xarelto Lawsuits – Another Legal Ditch for Johnson & Johnson

The US Food and Drug Administration estimates about 4 million Americans being prescribed with anticoagulants or blood-thinning drugs every year. The standard anticoagulant that doctors have written on prescription notes since 1954 had been Warfarin, though this particular medication required strict diet, exercise and frequent blood test to make sure that it would work safely and effectively in patients.

In 2010 a new blood thinner, which did not impose the strict diet and frequent visit to the doctor for blood tests, was approved by the FDA – Pradaxa. This new drug was the first direct thrombin inhibitor or DTI that gained FDA approval (as a DTI, it is able to directly block the formation of the blood-clotting factor, called thrombin).

Pradaxa’s hold of the market was short-lived though as it was immediately overshadowed by a newer drug that was introduced and approved by the FDA just a year later. This newer anticoagulant was manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) and Bayer Health Care, and sold under the generic name Xarelto. It was the second DTI type of drug that was intended as a direct competition of Pradaxa and an alternative to Warfarin.

Xarelto was originally approved by the FDA as a blood thinner for those recovering from hip replacement surgery or knee surgery. This approval was extended for use of patients suffering from irregular heartbeat, a condition called atrial fibrillation, to minimize in them the formation of blood clots and the risk of stroke, as well as to prevent chances of pulmonary embolism (the formation of blood clot in the lungs) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is blood clotting in the deep veins, usually in the legs.

Despite being effective, Xarelto has been linked to cases of excessive bleeding, the major severe side-effect of modern blood-thinning drugs. Making matters worse, Xarelto, unlike Warfarin, contains no antidote for the severe internal bleeding that it causes and its manufacturers do not have anything on hand to prevent this serious harm. Thus, bleedings are irreversible, leading to emergency treatments or, sometimes, causing patients’ death.

All across the US hundreds of lawsuits have been (and continue to be) filed against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer due to Xarelto’s many adverse effects and the companies’ failure to warn the public of the dangers associated with using the drug. Those harmed by Xarelto should not delay to fight for their legal rights, which can enable them to receive compensation for the unexpected great pains and suffering that they are being subjected to. Filing a lawsuit against the drug’s makers and receiving compensation from them are patients’ rights upheld and protected by US laws to give justice to those made to suffer an injury they never deserve.