Pradaxa is a controversial blood-thinning drug. Manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim and available to American patients since 2010, Pradaxa has become associated with serious bleeding related injuries. Many patients have reported experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding, severe hemorrhaging, strokes, heart attacks, and other serious complications and injuries. These reports have prompted multiple government reviews, numerous medical studies evaluating the drug's safety and effectiveness, and thousands of Pradaxa lawsuits. This article provides an overview of Pradaxa's problems and the rising number of Pradaxa lawsuits filed by injured patients.
A Primer on Pradaxa
Doctors prescribe Pradaxa for patients diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). An irregular heartbeat can cause patients to develop blood clots, resulting in diminished or disrupted blood flow to key parts of the body such as the brain, the heart, and the lungs. This can potentially cause patients to suffer strokes, heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms, and similar blood clot related complications. Blood-thinning drugs like Pradaxa are designed to reduce the risk of these problems. While blood-thinning drugs are essential for many patients, the tradeoff is that patients are at a higher risk of bleeding related injuries.
Pradaxa's fate is closely intertwined with its rival Warfarin, another blood-thinning drug. Boehringer Ingelheim designed Pradaxa to compete with Warfarin, which has been regularly prescribed to patients since the 1950s. Pradaxa was designed as a more convenient, hassle-free alternative. Patients taking Warfarin must follow special dietary restrictions in order to limit their Vitamin K intake. Regular blood testing is also required to ensure patient safety. Patients taking Pradaxa are generally free of these restrictions.
While Warfarin's restrictions can be inconvenient, they are designed to reduce the risk of patients experiencing serious bleeding related injuries. One of the main concerns about Pradaxa is whether patients taking the drug are at a higher risk of bleeding related injuries than patients taking Warfarin. Many government reviews and medical studies routinely compare the two drugs.
Thousands of patients have complained about serious injuries after taking Pradaxa. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency responsible for regulating pharmaceutical drugs, has annually received over 3,000 adverse event reports concerning Pradaxa since 2010. The most commonly reported problems are bleeding related complications such as severe hemorrhaging and gastrointestinal bleeding. Other patients have reported suffering strokes and heart attacks. Since 2010, over a thousand patients have reportedly died after taking Pradaxa.
The FDA is currently reviewing the safety of Pradaxa. The agency has previously warned that patients with mechanical heart valves should avoid Pradaxa. This warning followed a European study that found Pradaxa patients with mechanical heart valves were more likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes, and blood clot problems than similar patients taking Warfarin. Other medical studies have concluded that Pradaxa patients face an increased risk of heart attack and an increased risk of stroke.
Patients who suffer injuries after taking Pradaxa have legal options. When a pharmaceutical drug like Pradaxa is responsible for patient injuries, patients can sue the drug manufacturer. These product liability lawsuits seek to hold manufacturers accountable for their dangerous and defective products. Patients who successfully sue can recover compensation from the manufacturer. This can cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages from time off work, and the pain and suffering experienced by patients with serious medical issues.
Family members of patients who died after taking Pradaxa can also file wrongful death lawsuits. Wrongful death lawsuits can recover compensation for a patient's medical bills and funeral costs, removing these financial burdens from surviving family members. These lawsuits can also allow surviving spouses and children to receive compensation for the loss of a loved one's financial support. This can prevent families from experiencing financial hardship after the loss of a loved one.
Thousands of patients have already filed Pradaxa lawsuits. These lawsuits contend that Boehringer Ingelheim failed to warn doctors and patients about the increased risk of bleeding related injuries associated with Pradaxa. They also contend that the company defectively designed Pradaxa in a manner that made the drug unsafe for patients. The number of lawsuits has led the federal court system to consolidate Pradaxa lawsuits for common pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Recently, the federal judge overseeing Pradaxa cases selected four bellwether cases for trial. The results of these bellwether trials may help determine the fate of future Pradaxa lawsuits.
Don't Delay: Have an Attorney Provide an Initial Review of Your Pradaxa Claim Today
While the possible dangers of the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa have been well-documented and heavily litigated, you may not be sure whether you have a valid claim. And if you're concerned about the cost of litigation, you can have a skilled product liability attorney provide an initial review of your potential claim to determine whether it is worthwhile to move forward with a lawsuit.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.