Federal Panel Weighs Arguments for Consolidation of Xarelto Internal Bleeding Suits

Published on December 9, 2014 by Sandy Liebhard

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Plaintiffs in Xarelto lawsuits that allege internal bleeding caused by the anticoagulant argued their case for a multidistrict litigation (MDL) last week to a panel of federal judges.

According to a report from FiercePharma.com, Oral Arguments on the matter were presented December 4th at a meeting of the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), who will ultimately decide whether to consolidate similar cases over the blood thinner. Court records show more than a dozen cases now filed in 10 separate U.S. courts, which moved to federal court in East St. Louis, Illinois for pretrial proceedings, if plaintiffs have their way. Such an action would avoid conflicting rulings from judges and the risk for duplicative discovery in Xarelto internal bleeding claims against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.

Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the companies that jointly market Xarelto, have pushed the federal panel to reject the possibility of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). If the panel does decide to rule in favor of the plaintiffs’ request, though, the companies have asked the case to be sent to New Jersey, where their federal offices are located.

Blood Thinner Plaintiffs Count 65 Deaths by Xarelto Internal Bleeding

Attorneys for Xarelto patients argue that over 65 deaths have been linked to internal bleeding, which could have been avoided if its manufacturer had properly warned the public about their potential to be life-threatening. In particular, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer were negligent in warning the public that there is no available antidote for stopping this and other side effects, which also include an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, according to plaintiffs.

Since Xarelto’s entrance into the U.S. market in 2011, these injuries have been named in thousands of complaints filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A year later, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices counted 2,000 adverse event reports in the federal agency’s database, many of which mentioning internal bleeding. Xarelto is a new-generation blood thinner that belongs to a class known as direct thrombin inhibitors, the same as Pradaxa.

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