Pharmaceutical companies are spending millions of dollars marketing blood-thinners like Xarelto and Pradaxa to doctors. ABC investigation found that manufacturers such as Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim spend almost $3 million on “educational events” for doctors in a six-month period in 2015. This is troublesome since concerns are mounting that these potentially dangerous medications are being prescribed to people who may not need them.
High Dollar Bribes
When ABC Investigation combed over education reports from Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim, what they found was astonishing. Not only did they support many cardiology and hematology meetings, but they also were supporting educational events on the condition if their drugs were mentioned. Because of this, these pharmaceutical companies reached almost 30,000 general practitioners, specialist, and other health professionals.
Bayer, which makes Xarelto, spent $23,400 to fly specialists to a conference. This conference was to “reinforce the importance of adequately anti-coagulating non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients at risk of stroke” to doctors.
Another company spent $175,000 including flights and accommodation for its “Thrombo 360 experience” on clotting disorders for 107 doctors. The event included a 25-minute session on their blood thinner.
Boehringer Ingelheim, the makers of Pradaxa, spent $86,000 to send six hematologists business class to an international thrombosis conference in Europe.
Putting People in Danger
Research shows that doctors are more willing to prescribe a drug if they attended one of these “educational events” or received some sort of recompense from the drug’s manufacturer. This is putting hundreds of thousands of people in danger.
Warfarin was the gold standard blood thinner for a long time. More testing is needed with Warfarin, but there is a reversal agent if needed. Only Pradaxa has an antidote to stop patients from bleeding. However, it came far too late to help thousands of people. These bribes are pushing doctors to prescribe medication not based on the needs of a specific person, but what is good for the drug company.
Dangers of Pradaxa and Xarelto
Patients only report 10% of serious and fatal events to the FDA. Drug manufacturers submit the rest. In 2012, 1,158 cases of serious bleeding that resulted in the death of Pradaxa users were recorded. Additional deaths are likely to occur as Pradaxa remains available in the U.S. market.
Uncontrollable bleeding risk can turn deadly in a variety of ways, including:
- Cerebral (brain) hemorrhaging
- Unstoppable internal bleeding of ulcers
- Vehicle accidents resulting in injury
- Mistakes during operations
There is no way to stop Xarelto’s bleeding. By stopping the blood from clotting, blood-thinners can prevent blood clots in people suffering from conditions such as atrial fibrillation. Due to the risk of unstoppable bleeding, researchers developed an “antidote” to stop this effect in the case of emergency in users of warfarin, the most popular anticoagulant for decades.
Xarelto users aren’t so lucky. There is no antidote to reverse the anti-clotting effect of Xarelto in an emergency. This means doctors and surgeons may have limited options. It means that what could be a treatable injury for most people can be a fatal one for Xarelto users.
Some of the potentially fatal conditions Xarelto users have suffered include:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Brain hemorrhaging
- Kidney bleeding
- Rectal bleeding
- Another internal bleeding event
Your Blood Thinner Lawsuit Attorney
Michael Brady Lynch, the founder of The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, was a member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in the Pradaxa Multi-District Litigation and instrumental in securing the $650 million settlement for those injured by Pradaxa’s uncontrollable bleeding. Mr. Lynch continues to be a leader in Pradaxa litigation nationwide in representing those who continue to suffer uncontrollable bleeding events from Pradaxa.
If you have experienced internal bleeding / hemorrhaging, stroke, heart attack or have lost a loved one after Pradaxa or Xarelto use, you may be eligible for compensation to offset your financial, physical and emotional burdens. Contact us today to set up a free consultation during which we will listen to your story and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.