Warfarin (a form of rat poison still sold as Coumadin) has been the standard anticoagulant for going on six decades. It is far from a perfect treatment: determining the correct dosage can be difficult, and patients must go on a restricted diet and undergo constant monitoring because of numerous interactions (frequently an issue with elderly patients on numerous prescriptions).
Dr. Robert Califf, President Obama’s nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration, has been the target of serious criticism in recent weeks over his close ties to the pharmaceutical industry. He has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Pharma.
President Obama's recent nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Robert Califf. Mr. Califf has received huge consulting fees from large pharmaceutical corporations to push their agenda. Worse than that, he played a significant role in the approval of an anti-coagulant medication that is literally killing people.
Rivaroxaban, better known as Xarelto®, has been associated with hundreds of adverse events involving fatal and near-fatal hemorrhaging since it received FDA approval in 2011. Within three years of its arrival on pharmacy shelves, the number of injuries due to Xarelto's side effects has surpassed those caused by rival medication Pradaxa (dabigitran).
Medical malpractice is another common source of litigation. Given the recent news that has come to light over the side effects of Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and the inaccurate dosing information that has led to injury and death, some victims wonder if they have grounds for a medical malpractice suit against their physician and health care provider.
When the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federal Xarelto lawsuits before a judge in Louisiana, there were approximately fifty cases pending. That was in December 2014. Just over six months later, that number has grown eightfold; currently, there are more than 400 Xarelto lawsuits against Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Injury lawsuits, such as the ongoing litigation against Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen division over the anticoagulant medication Xarelto, are based on what is known as a “cause of action.” In other words, the court wants to know what it was that resulted in the plaintiff's injury.
Broadly speaking, Xarelto is alleged to have caused uncontrolled bleeding in a number of patients, resulting in pain, suffering and death. However, the problem is even more specific than that.
While manufacturers of “new generation” anti-coagulant medications such as Pradaxa, Eliquis and Xarelto have been settling or fighting off lawsuits over bleeding injuries and deaths, a small, little-known biopharmaceutical company in the San Francisco Bay area has been busy trying to develop an antidote.
Currently, Bayer AG, manufacturer of the anti-coagulant Xarelto, faces nearly 500 injury lawsuits over its product. Used to treat patients at risk for stroke due to atrial fibrillation (a type of arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat), Xarelto has been implicated in cases of uncontrollable gastrointestinal bleeding, brain hemorrhages and hemorrhagic stroke. Plaintiffs allege that Bayer was aware of these risks and failed to issue proper warnings.
The Court presiding over all the consolidated federal lawsuits related to Xarelto bleeding injuries has appointed lead counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. In Pretrial Order #7 signed by the Hon. Eldon E. Fallon, both Brian H. Barr of the Levin Papantonio law firm and Andy D. Birchfield of the Beasley Allen law firm were appointed as co-lead counsel to head a core group of twelve law firms that will litigate the case on behalf of injured plaintiffs.