Blood Thinner Lawsuits Settle for $650 Million

In May, the manufacturer of a popular blood thinner agreed to settle approximately 4,000 lawsuits for an estimated $650 million.

The anti-coagulant dabigatran, brand name Pradaxa, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010. Pradaxa is prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF), a common type of abnormal heart rhythm.

Shortly after introduction, some patients taking Pradaxa experienced life-threatening bleeding episodes that were largely untreatable. Despite defense of the drug by its manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), almost 1,000 deaths are attributed to the deadly side effects of the drug.

In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  announced results of a study comparing Pradaxa to warfarin in more than 130,000 Medicare patients age 65 and older. Results of the study include:

  • Pradaxa was associated with lower risk of intracranial hemorrhage, ischemic stroke and death than the drug warfarin.
  • Pradaxa presents an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding when compared with warfarin.
  • Pradaxa and warfarin have similar risks of myocardial infarction.

In late May, BI announced settlement of the pending body of lawsuits involving Pradaxa. In dedicating $650 million toward the settlement, the average payout per plaintiff is expected to be approximately $162,000 per case. BI indicates it intends to vigorously defend against plaintiffs that opt out of the litigation settlement.

Medication is an important part of treatment for many conditions. If you are prescribed medication, speak with your physician to ensure it is the right medication for you. When you have questions about a medication error or injury, speak with a skilled personal injury law firm serving Wake Forest.

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