Some Patients Taking Pradaxa Have Experienced Life-Threatening Complications
Pradaxa is a blood thinner introduced to the market in 2010 by the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. Its chemical name is dabigatran etexilate and its purpose is to help control conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolus (PE), and atrial fibrillation, also known as irregular heartbeat.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Boehringer Ingelheim because of problems patients had after using Pradaxa, including uncontrolled bleeding that led to many injuries and fatalities. Some patients experienced intracranial bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, and hemorrhagic strokes. Many of the lawsuits claim that the company failed to warn doctors and their patients about the risks associated with taking the drug.
Some other problems attributed to Pradaxa include secondary effects caused by serious bleeding events such as:
- Unnecessary pain and suffering caused by wounds that do not heal until the drug becomes inactive
- Complications from prolonged bleeding
- Complications from extended hospital stays such as infections and depression
Risk Common to Blood Thinners
Until Pradaxa came onto the market, the blood thinner of choice was a drug called warfarin, known under its trade name of Coumadin. Warfarin requires a period of calibration to determine the patient’s correct dosage that can take weeks. It can also interact with certain foods and other drugs making it a problem for some patients. Pradaxa was marketed as safer, more effective, and more convenient than warfarin and was approved by the FDA on the basis of the results of a clinical trial that was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.
The biggest difference between warfarin and Pradaxa is that the effects of the former can be reversed with a vitamin K treatment. However, when Pradaxa was introduced in 2010, there was no antidote available. This meant that there was a potential of catastrophic bleeding from relatively minor injuries and no way to stop it. A Pradaxa antidote was not approved by the FDA until October 2015.
In 2011, the year after Pradaxa was released, there were 3,781 reports of adverse events associated with its use and 542 fatalities. Of the thousands of products liability lawsuits filed against Boehringer Ingelheim, many claim that the company brought the drug onto the market too quickly, considering there was no antidote available. Many also argue the company used deceptive marketing practices by claiming it was safer than warfarin despite studies that showed an equal or higher risk of internal bleeding. They also say the manufacturer failed to adequately warn the public of the risks inherent with using Pradaxa.
In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim paid out $650 million to settle 4,000 of the cases that had been filed against them in federal court. They paid an additional $95 million to settle a case alleging improper marketing. Despite these settlements, Pradaxa lawsuits are still ongoing because the antidote, Praxbind, was not approved for use until 2015 and more patients were possibly harmed before it was made available.
Compensation for Defective Drugs
In the first two years of its release, Pradaxa earned Boehringer Ingelheim roughly $1 billion while thousands of patients suffered or died from using it. Pharmaceutical companies must be held accountable for defective drugs, misleading marketing, and failing to warn patients about the risks associated with using their products. Patients who suffered harmful effects after taking Pradaxa may be eligible for compensation some or all of the following:
- Medical expenses past, present, and future
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Loss of companionship
Every case is unique as are the laws in each state governing the statute of limitations. Consult with an experienced Pradaxa lawyer to see if you can file a lawsuit and what your case may be worth.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Hold Pharmaceutical Companies Accountable for Dangerous Drugs
If you or a loved one has taken Pradaxa and suffered severe bleeding, you may be eligible for compensation. The skilled and knowledgeable Philadelphia products liability lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC will fight to recover the compensation you deserve. Call 215-569-8488 or 302-888-1221 today to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Media, and Abington, Pennsylvania, Wilmington, Delaware, and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly represent clients throughout the tri-state area.