Xarelto Lawsuit Filed

24 Jun 2015  |  Dangerous Drugs

On June 23, 2015 Perdue & Kidd filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf a Harris County widow whose husband died of a spontaneous subdural hematoma bleed out while on Xarelto. The emergency room physician who attempted to treat the husband when he was admitted to the emergency room determined that nothing could be done to help the husband because he was taking an anticoagulant (Xarelto) whose effects could not be reversed. Nothing but palliative care could be offered to the husband as he bled to death in the emergency room. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana where all federal court cases against the manufacturers of Xarelto have been consolidated for pre-trial purposes. This consolidation is called MDL(Multidistrict Litigation)-2592-Xarelto Product Liability Litigation and is being overseen by the Honorable Eldon Fallon. Hundreds of lawsuits against the makers of Xarelto have been filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania state court.

Xarelto Bleeding Cannot Be Reversed

Warfarin/Coumadin has been the anticoagulant of choice since the 1950’s. If a patient has a bleeding event while on warfarin/Coumadin reversal agents or antidotes can be given to clot or thicken the blood. Unfortunately, with Xarelto, no specific antidote is available leaving doctors and patients experiencing a bleeding event while on Xarelto in a dangerous predicament. This is particularly troubling because clinical trial studies done by the makers of Xarelto show that the drug in no more effective than warfarin/Coumadin in treatment of strokes or pulmonary embolisms. Strokes and pulmonary embolisms are the main health concern for patients who are at higher risk for blood clots because of atrial fibrillation, lifestyle, diet, genetics and other factors. While the current Xarelto label does include warnings about their not being any reversal agent or antidote, this warning continues to be absent from the label’s prominently displayed BLACK BOX warnings section.

If you or a loved one has taken Xarelto and suffered bleeding, stroke, hospitalization or death contact the lawyers of Perdue & Kidd. Our attorneys have experience representing clients throughout Texas and the country against major pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

On June 11, 2015, Judge Eldon Fallon of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana held a Science Day to better educate himself and the public about the anticoagulant drug Xarelto. Judge Fallon is overseeing consolidated multi-district litigation (MDL) proceedings for all Xarelto lawsuits filed or removed to United States Federal Court.

The manufacturers of Xarelto brought in two experts, a hematologist and electrophysiologist, who gave presentations on the benefits Xarelto as opposed to Warfarin, which has been the anticoagulant drug of choice since the 1950’s. The experts’ major argument was that while Xarelto has not been shown to be more effective than Warfarin in preventingmajor injuries associated with blood clots, Xarelto only has to be taken once a day, does not require continuous monitoring, does not require significant dietary changes, has fewer drug interactions, and some studies show Xarelto takers are at less risk for significant bleeding events, particularly fragile individuals.

Why Xarelto is Dangerous

Following the two defense experts the Xarelto Plaintiffs Steering Committee offered two of its own experts to discuss the benefits and risks of the drug. Their major concerns had to do with (1) the 20 mg once a day Xarelto dosing regimen, and (2) that there is no recognized test to determine if an individual patient, with their own unique characteristic, is at high risk for bleeding events. With regard to the first concern, a 20 mg Xarelto tablet is taken once a day. The experts discussed how this amount, as opposed to twice a day dosing at 10 mg, leads to greater peaks (too much drug in the system potentially leading to increased risk of bleeding events) and troughs ( too little drug in the system potentially leading increased risk of clotting events). These increased peaks and troughs could be eliminated or decrease with twice daily dosing. This dovetails with the experts’ second concern, which is that unlike Warfarin which has recognized testing and matrixes to determine which individuals are at high risk for bleeding events because of how their individual body processes the drug. No such testing exists for an individual taking Xarelto. Therefore, physicians prescribing Xarelto are unable to determine which of their patients are at increased risk for bleeding. The experts went on to demonstrate that the Xarelto Rocket AF study demonstrated that approximately 5% of patients who take Xarelto fall into this category of unidentified patients that are at higher risk for bleeds.

If you or a loved one has taken Xarelto and suffered bleeding, stroke, or death contact the lawyers of Perdue & Kidd. Our attorneys have experience representing clients throughout Texas and the country against major pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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