Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subdivision of Johnson & Johnson) and Bayer AG are facing thousands of lawsuits over the anticoagulant Xarelto. The lawsuits allege the manufacturers failed to properly warn patients and doctors of the risks associated with the drug.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit believe Xarelto is more dangerous than other blood thinners because it has no antidote to reverse its effects in the event of uncontrollable bleeding. Research is now suggesting Xarelto patients are more likely to experience uncontrollable bleeding than patients taking blood thinners like Warfarin and Pradaxa.
A longitudinal study looked at the patient histories of over 46,000 adults in the U.S. taking blood thinners and found there was a link between dangerous bleeding events and Xarelto. Patients taking Xarelto were twice as likely to experience bleeding events as compared to patients taking Warfarin.
Plaintiffs believe the manufacturers utilized clever marketing to help mask the increased bleeding risk. Using celebrity endorsements, Xarelto quickly became one of the most popular blood thinners on the market.
However, the marketing claims used with the drug did more than just mask the risks. In 2013, the manufacturers were sent a warning letter from the FDA stating the claims used in advertisements were misleading. Although the FDA demanded the manufacturers stop using the misleading statements, the manufacturers ignored the letter and continued with misleading marketing.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals is also under fire for its antipsychotic mediation, Risperdal. A Pennsylvania jury just awarded a plaintiff a whopping $70 million verdict after Risperdal caused him to grow male breasts.
To make matters worse for Janssen, the company is also facing lawsuits over its diabetes medication Invokana. Recent studies have linked Invokana to increased risks of chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, heart attacks, and amputations.
The first trials against Janssen and Bayer for Xarelto will take place in early 2017. There are currently more than 5,300 lawsuits pending against the manufacturers.