Dealing a potentially huge blow to the Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a recent report from Product Lawyers has claimed that an upcoming research could draw a link between the use of Xarelto and serious risks to the health.
A blood thinning medicine, Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was a favorite prescription for doctors in the last few years. This drug gained its popularity due to its unique dosage form available to all patients. Unlike the traditional blood thinning drugs like Warfarin – which required blood testing of patients before prescription of the medicine, doctors prescribed a general dose of this medicine to all the patients.
As a result of the success of Xarelto, its manufacturers made more than $1.3 billion in sales in 2013 alone. While this drug was initially popular, patients, after taking it for some time, started to complain about numbness, muscle pain, itching and easy bruising.
In addition to these benign symptoms, some patients experienced life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding. As a result, rivaroxaban was taken to the court.
Despite a multi-district litigation against them, the manufacturers of this drug have denied any wrongdoing. Their response might prove to be worthless once the aforementioned research is presented in the court.
There are two respectable journals which have published the research linking Xarelto to life-threatening injuries. As per the research papers of JAMA Ophthalmology and British Medical Journal, patients who take Xarelto face an increased risk of suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. Moreover, as per the research, use of this medication is also linked with increased risk of vitreous hemorrhages.
Combination of lawsuits
As a result of receiving more than 2800 lawsuits, the Judicial Panel on MDL decided to speed up the process of litigation by combining it into an MDL. All the plaintiffs were asked to present their evidence accordingly.
As per the US Law, Multidistrict litigation is carried out in cases relation to air disaster litigation and product liability suits. It comes under the Statute # 27 of the United States Court in the U.S. code. According to the statute, while the types of plaintiffs could be diverse, the allegations which they point against the defendant are almost identical in nearly all of the cases.
Study on Risk of Vitreous Hemorrhages
In an effort to give substance to the mounting criticism against Xarelto, Dr. John C Hwang & Judy Hun were elected by an independent body to conduct an experimental study on the proposed dangerous effects of Xarelto. The basic aim of this study was to establish whether or not Xarelto directly contributed to the buildup of vitreous hemorrhages.
The results of this study could be worth in billions in lawsuits for Xarelto manufacturers. According to the results, for patients who switched from a blood thinning coagulant to Xarelto, the potential for accruing hemorrhages was strikingly obvious.
In a damaging part of this report for Xarelto, the researchers claimed that in all the patients which they tested, almost all of them had an elevated level of risk to acquire vitreous hemorrhages. The majority of these patients belonged to the 70-80 age group who had never before experienced vitreous hemorrhages in their lives.
Study links Xarelto to liver damage
In another study, Bayer’s new blood thinner was again declared the culprit of serious liver damage by a team of highly qualified doctors. This study could carry more weight in court as the number of patients – who were chosen to be examined for this study, exceeded 46,000. As a result, there was no need for extrapolating the results which came after this research.
Before mentioning the results of this study, it seems poignant to point out that rivaroxaban was also compared with warfarin in other researches. Being a direct competitor of the new drug, this study was of immense importance to warfarin as well.
Turning our attention to results and they’re deadly yet again for Xarelto users. For example, in several other researches, patients who chose the novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) over warfarin were twice more likely to undergo a bleeding in their stomach. Thus, while at one end this research has floored the new drug it has also elevated the reputation of warfarin at the same time.
When both the aforementioned types of research will be presented to the court under the MDL 2592 & Mass tort program, it seems very likely that they will pave the way to epitomize the link between rivaroxaban and bleeding injuries.
Furthermore, looking at the recent profits which the manufacturers of the drug has recently made on the drug, it is safe to say that a multi-billion dollar verdict could be on the cards in the coming months.