Product News and Recalls

Plaintiffs: Dangerous blood thinner not a true alternative

The blood thinner Pradaxa has generated about $1.48 billion in worldwide sales over a span of less than two years. According to a story in Bloomberg, that’s largely because manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim has been marketing it as a more convenient alternative to an existing medication.

Unlike the blood thinner warfarin, which has been around since the 1950s, Pradaxa does not require frequent blood testing and dietary restrictions.

But plaintiffs in numerous lawsuits claim it’s not accurate to represent Pradaxa as a viable alternative because it has a major and potentially deadly defect – it has no antidote for bleeding emergencies.

The story quotes New York-based lawyer Hunter Shkolnik, who describes Pradaxa as “a truly defective drug.”

“There’s no way you can reasonably market this as a safer alternative to other blood thinners,” Shkolnik says.

Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported 542 deaths and 3,781 side-effect incidents tied to Pradaxa in 2011. It generated more reports of injury or death than any of the 800 medicines monitored by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices, a nonprofit that studies medication use.

According to Bloomberg, Boehringer now faces more than 150 lawsuits over claims that it sold the drug knowing it could cause potentially fatal “bleed-outs” among some patients. And legal experts predict that thousands more suits will probably be filed in the years to come.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a lawyer if you have injuries connected with Pradaxa.

See the story here: