Dates have been selected for four bellwether trials in the Xarelto multidistrict litigation. These trial outcomes will set important precedent for the remaining cases.

The first Xarelto trial date is set for February 6, 2017, with the second date just over a month later on March 13, 2017. The remaining two cases will begin on April 24, 2017 and May 30, 2017. These first four cases will be tried in the Eastern District of Louisiana. With over 5,300 Xarelto lawsuits, plaintiffs eagerly await the beginning of the trials.

Xarelto Side Effects

Xarelto is a prescription medication used to prevent blood clots from forming as the result of an irregular heartbeat/atrial fibrillation. When first approved in 2011, the blood thinner was considered a superior alternative to its predecessor, Warfarin, because it did not require routine blood monitoring and dietary restrictions. However, Xarelto was approved without a reversal agent, leaving patients who suffer uncontrollable bleeding events without a reliable method to reverse the drug’s effect.

To make matters worse, the clinical trial data that led to Xarelto’s approval utilized a blood monitoring device that was recalled in 2014 for providing erroneous readings. This has led many patients to claim Xarelto should never have been approved and should be recalled from the market.

Clever Marketing Strategies

Xarelto was manufactured by Bayer and marketed in the U.S. by Johnson & Johnson. These pharmaceutical industry giants didn’t let potentially compromised clinical trial data slow down their advertising campaign. Using celebrity endorsements and misleading claims, commercials and advertisements for the drug helped mask the seriousness of potential side effects. Xarelto’s manufacturers received an FDA warning letter in 2013 regarding claims made in a print advertisement, but the companies ignored the letter and continued to use misleading claims.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege Xarelto manufacturers failed to warn doctors and patients about side effects. While the manufacturers deny all wrongdoing in the lawsuits, with so many plaintiffs, they certainly have a lot to answer for.