January 7, 2015 — Eighty lawsuits involving Xarelto have been transferred into a centralized federal litigation since it was established three weeks ago.
The Xarelto Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2592) was established in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, overseen by Judge Eldon E. Fallon, on December 15, 2014.
At the time, there were only 21 complaints filed in 10 different district courts. Since then, the number of cases has nearly quadrupled.
Judge Fallon has scheduled the first status conference in the MDL for January 29, 2015 in Louisiana. He will meet with lawyers involved in the litigation to discuss the organizational structure of the coordinated pretrial proceedings.
All of the lawsuits accuse Bayer, the manufacturer of Xarelto, of failing to adequately warn about side effects, including the severe or fatal bleeding and the unavailability of a reversal agent to counteract Xarelto’s blood-thinning effects.
Lawsuits also accuse Bayer of wrongfully promoting Xarelto as a superior alternative to warfarin, a blood-thinner that has been on the market since the 1950s and can be easily counteracted with a dose of Vitamin K.
Recent studies have also suggested that routine blood-tests to monitor levels of Xarelto might help prevent life-threatening bleeding side effects.
The litigation is remarkably similar to one faced by Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of Pradaxa (dabigatran). The MDL was created in August 2012 in Illinois. Within two years, over 4,000 lawsuits were filed. In May 2014, the drug-maker agreed to pay $650 million to settle the litigation.
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