What is Xarelto?
Xarelto is a prescription anticoagulant manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals and distributed by Johnson&Johson’s Janssen pharmaceuticals unit. Xarelto belongs to a new class of blood thinners called Xa Inhibitors and its active ingredient is rivaroxaban.
Xarelto has been hugely popular since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011. In the first quarter of 2012, 130,000 prescriptions for Xarelto were written in the United States and as of today 11 million prescriptions have been issued for the drug in the U.S. alone. If Xarelto’s popularity continues to rise at the rate it has been, EvaluatePharma estimates that by 2018 Xarelto will have generated 3.7 billion U.S. dollars in sales and become the 19th best selling drug in the world.
Xarelto’s popularity can be attributed to its relative ease of use compared to traditional blood thinners. Patients who are taking Xarelto do not need to follow strict dietary regulations and do not need to have their blood monitored constantly as they do if they are taking traditional blood thinners such as Warfarin. Xarelto’s ‘one size fits all’ dosage and treatment plan comes at a price though, a one year supply of Xarelto costs $3,000, which is a steep cost to pay when considering that a one year supply of Warfarin only costs $200.
Despite Xarelto’s seemingly useful benefits, the drug has been linked to cause several dangerous side effects including uncontrollable internal bleeding and excessive blood clots.
The Dangers of Xarelto
Since Xarelto’s release, several studies and FDA warnings have been published that suggest links between Xarelto and severe side effects such as uncontrollable internal bleeding and excessive blood clots. Xarelto currently has two ‘Black Box’ warnings attached to it. These warnings are the strictest warnings the FDA can attach to a drug short of recalling it and mean that there is a reasonable risk of a hazard associated with the drug. The warnings that the FDA issued in regards to Xarelto, including other prescription drugs that can be dangerous if taken with Xarelto, can be found here.
Xarelto’s Lack of Antidote Concerns Doctors
Xarelto is significantly more dangerous than other blood thinners on the market because there is no known antidote to the drug. Xarelto is in a different class of blood thinners called Xa inhibitors, meaning that it ‘thins’ the blood by blocking the chemical that is responsible for making blood clot, Thrombin. Because of the unusual way that Xarelto works, antidotes that have historically worked for traditional blood thinners, such as promatine sulfate and vitamin K, will not work for Xarelto. If a patient suffers from an injury that causes internal bleeding emergency and they are taking Xarelto at the time, there is no way to stop the bleeding from happening. This uncontrollable internal bleeding effect had lead to many injuries and deaths.
Adverse Events Associated with Xarelto Usage
In 2013 the FDA released a report that was prepared to analyze the adverse effects that Xarelto can cause. The study analyzed the 2,100 reports of adverse events concerning Xarelto and found that 1,821 of those cases cited Xarelto as the primary cause of the event. The top four adverse events reported and the number of are listed below:
Pulmonary Embolism – 386
Deep Vein Thrombosis – 278
Gastrointestinal Bleeds – 107
Hemorrhages – 107
Other adverse side effects reported included cerebrovascular events, dyspnea, edema, hemoglobind eficiency, and thrombosis.
Xarelto Injuries in San Francisco
Using data available to us, our team has been able to estimate the number of San Francisco residents who may have been injured by Xarelto usage. We calculated these numbers by comparing the population of San Francisco at the time of the 2010 United States Census to the number of Xarelto prescriptions that have been written for the entire United States and the United States population in 2010. These numbers are estimates and not exact figures.
San Francisco Population in 2010 – 837,442
Estimated Number of Xarelto Users in San Francisco – 29,836
Estimated Number of Internal Bleeding Injuries Caused by Xarelto in San Francisco – 507
Legal Action Against Xarelto
If you believe that you or a loved one are a part of the residents of San Francisco who have been injured by Xarelto, there are legal options available to you.
So far, hundreds of complaints against the drug and its manufacturers have already been filed across the U.S. alleging that Xarelto causes uncontrollable internal bleeding which led to their serious injury or loved ones death. The lawsuits have recently been consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) group in the Eastern District of Louisiana and hundreds more are expected to be filed. The purpose of the MDL is to expedite the judicial process and save judicial resources in cases like this one where multiple allegations are brought against the same defendant, but all of the allegations are similar in nature. An MDL is different than a class action lawsuit because it allows for each cause to be heard separately and the unique situations of each case can be taken into account.
Our Xarelto Lawyers
The Xarelto Lawyers at Osborne & Associates are experienced trial litigators who are not afraid to stand up to pharmaceutical giants. In the past two years alone our firm has recovered over six billion dollars of compensation for its clients and we will fight for your rights. The Xarelto lawyers that we work with are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C. If you would rather keep your case local, we have built an extensive network of excellent working relationships with Xarelto lawyers across the country through our work on Xarelto litigation and we would happily refer you to a lawyer in your area if you wish. Contact us for a free case evaluation and consultation and we will help you get started on the path to justice.