According to data from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the number of lawsuits filed in the Philadelphia mass tort litigation related to the anticoagulant drug Xarelto has grown to nearly 350 individual cases.
In January 2015, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas consolidated several lawsuits alleging dangerous side effects associated with Xarelto use, and there initially were 75 separate cases consolidated in mass tort litigation in Philadelphia. Additionally, more than 400 Xarelto lawsuits have also been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. While the MDL is expected to host the vast majority of all filed Xarelto cases, sometimes having multiple jurisdictions push cases forward is a positive development for injured patients.
What is Xarelto?
Xarelto is a prescription blood thinner approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011 to prevent certain types of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Xarelto is usually prescribed to prevent the formation of blood clots in those who have recently undergone knee or hip replacement surgery.
Studies Express Concern
Recent studies have shown that Xarelto use may be associated with some serious side effects, including eye hemorrhaging and stomach bleeds. Unlike the blood thinner warfarin (brand name Coumadin), whose bleeding effects can be reversed with a dose of vitamin K, Xarelto has no known antidote. This has resulted to some very serious and sometimes fatal bleeding events, leading many patients and their families to file lawsuits against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Xarelto, alleging that the companies acted negligently by failing to warn about the risks associated with Xarelto use.
Other studies have raised concerns about Xarelto use among the elderly and Japanese patients. According to one study, Japanese patients suffering from non-valvular atrial fibrillation who were exposed to Xarelto showed an increased risk of bleeding, and another showed a higher bleeding risk among older people, particularly those 75 years old and older.