For many of us, pharmaceuticals can offer a life-saving alternative to suffering from terrible conditions and injuries. In some unfortunate situations, however, certain pharmaceutical companies fail to appropriately design, manufacture, and market their drug products. One such example is Xarelto, a drug that is designed as a blood thinner. Now, thousands of lawsuits alleging health problems associated with taking Xarelto are pending in a multi-district litigation proceeding in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved the drug for administration to patients who underwent knee or hip replacements to help reduce blood clots and associated risks. In the fall of 2011, the FDA broadened the approval of Xarelto to help treat patients who experience an irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation. It is currently believed that millions of individuals have been prescribed Xarelto since it first hit the market.
Some patients taking Xarelto have reported suffering severe health consequences associated with the drug. Blood thinners can cause unwanted gastrointestinal bleeding and other conditions of a hemorrhaging nature. In response to these issues, the FDA issued two black box warnings. This is the strictest warning that the FDA can impose on a pharmaceutical product. To assign a black box warning, the FDA must find reasonable evidence that the drug is associated with a serious hazard.
As more problems associated with Xarelto arose, countless plaintiffs initiated lawsuits against the drug manufacturer. Eventually, the lawsuits were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (“MDL”). This is a proceeding that is designed to provide for more efficient adjudication of claims that involve a common product or injury.
The most recent order, issued in December 2015, provides the lawyers representing clients in the MDL with instructions on selecting a pool of plaintiffs for an impending round of discovery. Discovery is the phase of litigation in which the parties attempt to discover information from one another about the facts giving rise to the lawsuit and the claims alleged therein.
The order provides specific criteria that will be used to select a pool of 40 plaintiffs. The criteria create six different categories defined by specific age ranges, the reason the plaintiff was prescribed Xarelto, and the alleged damages. For example, plaintiffs ages 50 to 90 who took Xarelto to reduce the risk of a stroke and systemic embolism resulting from atrial fibrillation who experienced gastrointestinal bleeding or death are one category of eligible plaintiffs to participate in the discovery pool.
If you or someone you love took Xarelto and experienced severe health consequences as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, our skilled and compassionate team of dangerous drug lawyers have counseled clients on numerous pharmaceutical actions. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about the scope of your rights and will ensure that your rights are asserted along each step of the way. We represent clients in Texas, California, Illinois, and Florida, in addition to other states. Call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment.