When the Clot Hits the Fan

Yet another wonder drug by big drug companies is about to be brought to its knees for allegations of misrepresentation and failure to warn. This time, oral anticoagulant Xarelto of the direct Factor Xa (10-a) inhibitor class is taking center stage.

A woman in Kentucky named Virginia Stuntebeck filed a lawsuit suit against Xarelto US distributor Johnson & Johnson and manufacturer Bayer AG in federal court on February 18, 2014. In June, the federal judge remanded the case to Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was approved in July 2011 by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of blood clotting in patients with atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), a condition in which the blood can pool in the heart and form clots which may cause pulmonary embolism or stroke. A further approval for treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was granted in November 2011. However, the FDA has refused multiple times to approve its use as a treatment for acute coronary syndrome, perhaps in response to the growing number of complaints being reported.

The main allegation in the Stuntebeck case was that the drug was too dangerous to be sold. It was filed directly after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that drug companies can be held liable for marketing pharmaceuticals that were inherently too risky to use. Stuntebeck was prescribed with Xarelto in June 2012 to manage her atrial fibrillation, and had to be rushed to the hospital for uncontrollable gastrointestinal bleeding in February 2013.

According to the website of lawyers Williams Kherkher, 72 Xarelto-related deaths have been reported by Bayer for the first half of 2013 alone, compared to the 58 reported for 2012. If you suspect that serious injuries you have sustained may have been due to Xarelto, do not hesitate to contact a defective drugs lawyer in your area to find out if you are eligible for compensation.