The current market for anticoagulants (blood thinners) is estimated to be about $10 billion. Eager to get a slice of the pie, many pharmaceutical companies are developing drugs to capture a piece of this lucrative market by producing safer and more easily used alternatives to Warfarin or Coumadin, the drug currently available.
Warfarin is a blood thinner marketed as Coumadin, and other brand names, which in addition to requiring regular blood work and checkups throughout its use, necessitates a change in diet and lifestyle and presents a risk of bleeding in the brain.
Xarelto, manufactured by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is currently being prescribed and used as a blood thinner to prevent blood clots that can block blood flow, which is causing serious injury, including death. Xarelto is one of a new type of blood thinners that has been prescribed by physicians in one uniform dose.
The Food and Drug Administration FDA) approved Xarelto for use in patients who have or are undergoing joint replacement surgery (knees & hips), in order to reduce the risk of blood clots that are related to those procedures and thereby reducing the risk of strokes. Xarelto has also been approved for the general treatment of pulmonary embolism (blood clots to the lungs also known as PE’s) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT’s).
Though it is FDA approved, there are potential serious side effects to the taking of Xarelto. One of them is uncontrolled bleeding, which may interrupt the flow of blood to lungs, kidneys and/or brain thereby causing that organ to lose some of its function. Xarelto by its very nature and purpose prevents clotting and hence bleeding (hemorrhaging) continues until the body has flushed all of it out. Additionally, this uncontrollable bleeding could not be reversed in Xarelto as easily as it could with other blood thinners. If irreversible, the bleeding can lead to death. Pending litigation alleges that the manufacturer, knowing of the risks, did not adequately warn doctors and the patients they prescribed to before selling to them.
Bayer & Johnson could also be held accountable for wrongful death, as they didn’t follow all necessary FDA guidelines before selling the drug. And, depending on how you’ve been affected, you may be able to sue for any financial burden incurred from paying for doctor’s visits, ongoing care, loss of wages suffered while in a hospital receiving treatment. Family members should also consider bringing charges against pharmaceutical companies if they’ve suffered through the emotional distress of caring for a loved one affected by the drug.