I have written pretty extensively on this blog about the various lawsuits pertaining to the anticoagulant, Xarelto. This drug from Bayer is a controversial one, which has produced a history of bleeding injuries. Despite the risks, Xarelto is a best-selling drug, accounting for a huge amount of money flowing into Bayer’s coffers.
I love quarterly updates from these companies on litigation because they do give a sometimes honest view as to how these companies view the claims against them. Bayer’s recent quarterly update discussed some of the realities of the drug. Get a recent update and some rampant speculation on the value of these cases here.
- This update is old now. Get a 2021 Xarelto litigation status update here.
Bayer sent out a shareholder report for the second fiscal quarter, acknowledging the frequency of Xarelto lawsuits. Specifically, Bayer acknowledged that it is currently staring down 1,200 lawsuits, each of which claims that the drug produced harmful bleeding effects. They also suggested that the possibility of additional claims being filed is very likely. Even the Canadians are getting in on the action, with 6 class action lawsuits currently pending in Canada.
In spite of all this, Xarelto sales are booming. Believe it or not, sales have jumped 43% over the last quarter, dumping a total of $600 million in income into the Bayer Corporation. It is truly astonishing how a drug, which has produced some truly awful side effects in individuals, is still raking in profits. If more people saw this type of news instead of commercials with Arnold Palmer drinking lemonade and talking about how great Xarelto is, maybe things would be different.
But, you know, I don’t begrudge Bayer for Xarelto sales. I don’t think anyone is seriously calling for a Xarelto recall. Instead, the question is whether Bayer provided the information that would let consumers make an informed call about whether Xarelto was the appropriate product for them given their health condition and their own cost/benefit assessment.
Xarelto is a drug that was designed to increase blood flow in those who are at risk of blood clotting, stroke, or heart deficiency. Given its purpose, sometimes the drug creates too much blood flow. Every anticoagulant carries this risk, but Xarelto is uniquely dangerous because there is no reversal agent to stop excessive blood flow. Unlike Xarelto, drugs like Coumadin or Warfarin require consistent management in order to be effective. However, these drugs also have an antidote or reversal agent should their bleeding effects become excessive.
Given the potential for bleeding injuries and lack of antidote, you would think Bayer would issue warnings about this drug, right? Wrong. The various lawsuits filed against Bayer allege that the company failed to warn patients who had been prescribed the drug about the potential bleeding risks associated with it. This is a classic bad drug case: the company puts the drug on the market, the drug is dangerous, people sue, but the company does not do anything because the drug is making money.
The Xarelto litigation pending against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson was consolidated into a Multidistrict Litigation or MDL late last year. This allows costs to be evenly distributed among the various plaintiffs while streamlining discovery as well. Most recently, the judge overseeing the MDL ordered the parties to start picking cases for the “bellwether pool.” These preliminary trials will give litigants the chance to try their cases in front of juries, allowing them to see how things go before all the cases are settled or eventually go to trial. These trials are set to go ahead next year. [Update from 2017: the good guys have lost the first three lawsuits.]
Bringing a Lawsuit
Xarelto lawsuits allege that the drug’s manufacturers willfully withheld knowledge that their drugs cause uncontrollable bleeding in the name of profit. If you believe that you or a loved one has a claim stemming from Xarelto, contact our attorneys at 1-800-553-8082, or get a free online evaluation of your claim.