Corporate Greed and the Saga of Xarelto and Pradaxa
This is attorney Amy German, Associate Attorney at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm.
“Why are Xarelto and Pradaxa still on the market?” I hear this question several times a day from clients. I am forced to give the only answer I can. “Corporate greed.” So long as these pharmaceutical corporations keep making billions in drug sales, they will disregard the inconceivable risks and injuries to consumers caused by dangerous drugs that occur every day.
It is disheartening to see that these dangerous drugs are still widely advertised on TV. Xarelto has a television advertisement in which several well-known celebrities endorse the drug. Every time I happen to see one of these ads, I am disheartened by the callous and greedy nature of these drug conglomerates. Instead of righting the wrongs their drugs have caused and compensating consumers for the injuries sustained, they are shelling out astronomical amounts to fund the never-ending campaign to increase big pharma’s wallets.
It didn’t start out this way. When Xarelto and Pradaxa first came on the market in 2011, both were heralded as the first pair of blood thinning medications to replace 60 years of Warfarin use. Warfarin is a pill whose risks deterred many from using a crucial stroke-prevention medication. Unfortunately, these newer drugs are not the “best alternative” to warfarin, which pharmaceutical manufacturers led consumers to believe. Many consumers using either Xarelto or Pradaxa have experienced an increased risk of complications. This has even led to untimely deaths.
However, suddenly stopping Xarelto or Pradaxa can increase those risks. That is a terrifying thought. If you find out that a drug is causing you harm, the logical human instinct is to cease usage of said drug. Recently published studies on Janssen Pharmaceuticals drug, Xarelto, have shown that patients who stopped taking the anticoagulant for long periods within 6 months of the initial dosage showed an 86% increase of risk of a bleeding stroke or even death.
This same increased risk from halting consumption was also seen in patients taking Pradaxa. They showed four times the risk of stroke along with a 76% increase of a cardiovascular event or death.
This sample includes patients that switched to Warfarin, other direct oral anticoagulants, along with those who permanently discontinued anticoagulation therapy altogether. Therefore, even switching brands during the first 6 months of initial usage raises the danger of experiencing a stroke, cardiovascular event or death by an astronomical percentage.
For those who do not experience a stroke, they may experience uncontrolled bleeding. This bleeding occurs near a major organ (i.e. brain, lungs or kidneys) when blood flow to that organ is halted. The organ will rapidly decrease some or all of its functionality. Pools of blood may start to form within the body. Xarelto and Pradaxa are prescribed to prevent clotting, so doctors cannot inject clotting factors into the body to reverse the bleeding. Unfortunately, this means that there are few options for doctors to employ when treating the injuries and suffering resulting from these bleeding events.
Highly regarded director of anti-coagulation services for the Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare system, Dr. Alan Jacobson recently spoke against Xarelto and Pradaxa by saying: “You can kill a patient as easily with the new drug as you could with the old drug. The average patient doesn’t understand anything about the new drug, or what the risks are, or what other medicines he can or can’t take.”
This extremely dangerous precedent is becoming the norm and is causing many people to lose their lives following the use Xarelto and Pradaxa. As stated earlier, corporate greed is absolutely to blame. Pharmaceutical companies are being blinded by dollar signs. The current market for anticoagulants is estimated to be worth $10 billion. Plus, patients are paying more for it. These new drugs are more costly than its predecessor, Warfarin. Xarelto costs about $3,000 a year compared with $200 for Warfarin. Additionally, the newer anticoagulants do not require frequent monitoring by a doctor. Many doctors are prescribing the same dosage amount for every patient, which in turns may lead to greater injuries to consumers.
The bottom line is that these pharmaceutical corporations will keep advertising and selling these drugs for so long as there is money to be made. The fact that the effects of these drugs are devastating and continue well after the usage is halted makes no difference. Every time I must answer a client’s question about why these drugs are still legal, my resolve to see justice served to these corporations increases tenfold.
At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, we take these bleeding side effects very seriously, and we fight to make sure that pharmaceutical companies understand the seriousness as well. If you or a loved one have experienced a bleeding event from taking Xarelto or Pradaxa I urge you to contact us at 877-513-9517. Let us fight for you.