The Xarelto mass tort grows: 13,000 cases now pending in the MDL

New Xarelto lawsuits keep getting filed every day as the mass tort kept growing as one of the largest in the history of pharmaceutical litigations. One of the latest complaints has been filed on November 14 by a woman from Illinois, and is currently pending in Cook County Circuit Court. The plaintiff, Shirley A. Griffin, claims to have suffered serious physical injuries caused by the dangerous side effects of the blood thinner Xarelto (rivaroxaban). Just like many other victims who suffered life-threatening adverse reactions including stroke, internal bleeding and uncontrolled hemorrhages, the woman alleges that Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to properly warn the public of the alleged risks (Case No. 2016L01117).

The first complaint against the two Big Pharma that manufacture rivaroxaban was originally filed in 2014 by a man who allegedly suffered a serious bleeding after just one month of therapy. As the number of lawsuits kept growing, in December 2014 the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated 21 cases in the MDL No. 2592 in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Two years later, the MDL reached a total of 13,727 cases pending in the centralized proceeding, as reported by the JPML latest records. The first bellwether trial is set to begin in February 2017. Most victims claim that the pharmaceutical companies willfully concealed the dangers associated with the drug use, and overhyped the medication’s effectiveness during their advertisement campaign.

Xarelto is a dangerous blood thinner that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 to reduce the risk of strokes and blood clots in people affected by Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE). However, after just a few years since the medication hit the market, thousands of patients started reporting serious side effects that threatened their very lives. There was no antidote to revert the effects of the anticoagulant medication, so once a bleeding event occurs, doctors cannot stop the hemorrhage anymore. Even the ROCKET-AF, the clinical trial that purportedly demonstrated the medication’s safety and effectiveness, has been the object of several controversies. Xarelto attorneys did, in fact, pointed out that after a device used to evaluate the coagulation parameters of patients enrolled in the trial was recalled, the whole results of the study may have been skewed in favor of the newer drug.

Article by Dr. Claudio Butticè, Pharm.D.