“There is no admission of liability, and we remain steadfast that the claims raised in the litigation contradict years of scientific data and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s repeated confirmation of Xarelto’s safety and efficacy.” These are the words a Janssen Pharmaceuticals spokeswoman emailed the Associated Press in an effort to take the sting out of the fact that the company, along with Bayer, had just agreed to pay three-quarters of a billion dollars to settle 25,000 Xarelto lawsuits.
Xarelto, otherwise known as the drug rivaroxaban, was heralded as a next-generation blood thinner and was designed to replace older anticoagulants like Coumadin. Unlike Coumadin, Xarelto was supposed to be easier to manage and wasn’t supposed to require the additional blood tests that could come with a Coumadin prescription. Coumadin, however, was stable and its interactions with the body were such that if something went wrong and the patient began bleeding uncontrollably, an antidote could be administered, and the bleeding could be stopped.
No such antidote for Xarelto exists. Once an uncontrolled Xarelto bleed has begun, there is very little that can be done to stop it. The results have been catastrophic and, in some cases, deadly.
Litigation over injuries attributed to Xarelto bleeding has been ongoing for the past four years. Thousands of cases have been consolidated into several multidistrict litigations and those trials have had mixed results, at best. This settlement, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys, represents a “fair and just resolution” and those plaintiffs now await word of the mechanisms that will be put in place to see to their compensation for their injuries and losses.
Amounts will vary based on when a plaintiff initially filed suit against the pharmaceutical manufacturers and no estimates currently exist on what any of those amounts will be. After four years of litigation however, plaintiffs across the country may finally rest a bit easier knowing that someone will pay for the harm and loss they endured.