June 20, 2012 — Sanofi Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb are facing more than 80 new lawsuits regarding side effects of their blockbuster anti-clotting drug Plavix (clopidogrel), which millions of people use every year to prevent strokes and heart attacks caused by blood clots.
The companies are accused of falsely claiming that Plavix was more effective than aspirin, while simultaneously failing to warn patients and doctors about the serious risk of side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding.
The new lawsuits were filed in New York and Illinois. In St. Clair County, Illinois, 64 different plaintiffs filed lawsuits in the Illinois Circuit Court on May 24. On May 30, an additional 18 lawsuits were filed in New York.
The plaintiffs in these suits have several grievances regarding Plavix. Many are angry because they were not aware that Plavix is no more effective than aspirin, and yet Plavix is significantly more expensive and has also been linked to serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding. Other plaintiffs say that they were not warned that Plavix is not effective for certain groups of people.
A number of severe side effects have been linked to Plavix:
- Stomach ulcers
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Cerebral bleeding and hemorrhaging
- Internal bleeding
- Heart attack
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), which is a rare type of blood disorder
- And more
There may be hundreds or thousands of Plavix lawsuits that have not been filed yet. Some are seeking to consolidate Plavix litigation into one court in a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), which could streamline the litigation and expedite a resolution. In August 2011, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an order to create an MDL. In December of 2011, the court’s motion was denied by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.