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Actemra & Bone Marrow Failure

Studies have linked the rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra (tocilizumab injection) to serious side effects including bone marrow failure and also to disorders like hematophagic histiocytosis, stroke,  heart attack and more than 1,100 deaths.


About Actemra

In early 2010, the FDA first approved the Roche manufactured drug, Actemra to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The drug works by reducing inflammation.


Markedly, over 1.5 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis, which is a debilitating autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints of the hands, feet, knees, elbows, and ankles. Inflammation occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue. This results in swelling and pain around the joints. If untreated, damage to cartilage and bone can occur. In some cases, irreversible joint deformity happens. This is why treatment is vital.


Roche cashed in on it, too. Actemra is Roche’s fifth highest-grossing drug, according to health and medicine publication STAT, netting $1.7 billion in global sales last year alone.


Actemra & Bone Marrow Failure

Actemra Bone MarrowAlmost 2,000 patients using Actemra reported bone marrow failure as a side effect of using the RA drug. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside certain bones like hip and thigh bones. These contain stem cells, which can develop into the red blood cells. The red blood cells carry oxygen through your body and help with blood clotting.

While testing the Actemra on monkeys, researchers found that the RA drug caused lesions in the bone marrow. This report is over 10 years old. Yet, manufacturer, Roche still haven’t warned the public that their drug can seriously injure.


Lack of Warning

Many of the RA drugs on the market bring the same risks of bone marrow failure. The difference is the other drugs warn about Acterma and bone marrow failure. Actemra does not. The FDA should monitor the safety of prescription medications. However, it doesn’t verify the adverse event reports it receives. If they did, they would have known to immediately consider warnings for bone marrow failure.


Not having a warning makes one medication seem safer than the other which has it.


Actemra & Bone Marrow Failure

The symptoms of bone marrow failure are

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Blood on gums, nose or skin
  • Tooth loss or decay
  • Recurring colds
  • Chronic fatigue


 How We Can Help

When you experience side effects from a dangerous drug, it can have devastating effects on your entire life. You may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The types of losses that can be recovered include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of an ability to work; and
  • Pain and suffering


If a person dies from complications from a drug, family members may be able to recover damages for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses prior to death
  • Loss of economic support; and
  • Loss of companionship

Sad Man

If the conduct of a drug company in manufacturing and selling drug is found to be highly reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the company and deter similar conduct in the future. If you developed bone marrow failure after taking Actemra, please speak to us to learn more about your rights.


Case evaluations are free of cost and without obligation. Call us today at (877) 513-9517 or contact us online to speak with an attorney about your options. We may be able to get you the help you need.

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