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Mass Tort Involving 75 Xarelto Cases is Created in Philadelphia

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A mass tort has been organized in Philadelphia surrounding the blood-thinning drug Xarelto, which has been alleged to cause uncontrollable and sometimes fatal bleeding.

Approximately 75 Xarelto cases were transferred to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas’ Complex Litigation Center by the court’s Judge Kevin Dougherty. The lawsuits are filed against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, according to The Legal Intelligencer (The Legal).

Xarelto was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2011 and went on to earn $2 billion in sales nationwide with roughly 1 million prescriptions written by 2013. The drug was marketed as the “next generation” of blood thinners, according to the plaintiffs’ motion, because patients taking the drug do not require monitoring of blood plasma levels, unlike warfarin and other older counterparts, The Legal reported. In October 2012, however, the non-profit consumer safety group ISMP issued its QuarterWatch report which found that out of four drugs – Xarelto, Tekturna, Actos and Cymbalta – Xarelto had the greatest number of adverse events for the first quarter of 2012 with 356 reports of “serious, disabling or fatal injury,” predominantly blood clots.

By the end of 2012, there had been 2,080 Xarelto-related injuries, including 151 deaths, yet sales representatives continued to market the medication as a convenient alternative to warfarin, according to the petition, which was viewed by The Legal. The petition emphasized that Xarelto has no reversal agent to counteract its effects.

“Therefore,” the petition said, “Xarelto treatment leaves trauma professionals without an effective means to treat and stabilize patients who experience uncontrolled or excessive bleeding while taking Xarelto.”

The plaintiffs stated in the petition that creating a mass tort was the best course of action because their claims were so similar and, in some cases, completely identical, and noted that there are pending multidistrict litigations (MDL) across the nation. Janssen and Bayer argued that a mass tort in Philadelphia was inappropriate because so few of the plaintiffs live in Pennsylvania, according to The Legal.

Additionally, “a Philadelphia mass tort is unnecessary because Xarelto cases are now being coordinated in a federal multidistrict litigation proceeding and almost all of the cases here could go into that MDL,” defense papers obtained by The Legal said. The defendants also argued that the specifics of each plaintiff’s case are too different from one another to merit a mass tort.

“We will defend ourselves against the claims raised in this litigation,” a spokesperson for Janssen said in an email to The Legal. “Xarelto is an important anticoagulant used to treat and reduce the risk of life-threatening blood clots. After more than three years on the U.S. market, to date, the benefit-risk profile of Xarelto remains favorable and consistent with clinical trials.” disclaimer: This article: Mass Tort Involving 75 Xarelto Cases is Created in Philadelphia was posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:24 pm at and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits, Misleading Information Lawsuits.

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