Our team of dangerous drug lawyers confirm that patients seriously injured by the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa recently got a dose of good news: Pradaxa manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim just agreed to end most of the injury cases in a $650 million settlement. The popular blood thinner is associated with at least 500 patient deaths.
Boehringer was scheduled to defend itself in the first Pradaxa injury case in September 2014 – the first of over 4,000. The majority of these lawsuits were filed on behalf of family members who died from bleed-outs caused by the drug, which has no antidote.
Pradaxa is a blockbuster drug initially touted as a replacement for warfarin, which was close to the only option for blood thinners for about 60 years. Warfarin, unlike Pradaxa, requires close medical monitoring, however, which gave Pradaxa a leg-up on its competition.
As mentioned, there is no antidote for Pradaxa. This means that if a patient taking the drug starts to bleed – even from a minor contusion like falling on a sidewalk or a cut to the hand – they could suffer fatal bleed-outs. Many doctors have come forward saying they were forced to helplessly watch Pradaxa patients bleed to death on their tables. Patients are now claiming that Boehringer marketed Pradaxa as superior to warfarin without sufficient evidence, and without fully disclosing its devastating lack of reversing agent.
The average payout per plaintiff is estimated at around $163,000 – many contend that Boehringer wanted to settle these lawsuits en masse because the problems with Pradaxa are clear and tragic. Patients argue that the company knew about Pradaxa’s fatal risks even before it was released onto market in 2010.
By 2011, over 540 deaths had been reported in associated with the drug, along with nearly 4,000 serious side effects. As patients started filing lawsuits, it became clear that Boehringer hid key data about Pradaxa from federal regulators, including dozens of reports of fatal bleeding. The company failed to disclose this data in order to win approval.
Then, earlier this year, a judge ordered Boehringer to pay nearly $1 billion in fines for failing to preserve evidence – internal documents, files, emails, etc – concerning the maketing and development of Pradaxa. More on that scandal can be found here.
Similarly, the manufacturers of Actos were recently charged for destroying documents in the Actos bladder cancer litigation, and leading to a $9 billion punitive award for the plaintiffs.
In related news, we recently reported on an urgent recall for patients taking any type of blood thinners who also use at-home testing strips. Alere issued a recall of its PT/INR Professional Test Strips. Three patients have died from these defective strips, which may give false reads. Visit this site for more information.
Pradaxa attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are excited to share this settlement news with our Pradaxa clients. If you have any questions regarding this settlement, or any other drug-related injuries or deaths, contact our firm now. We provide free, confidential legal consultations to injured patients and their families nationwide.