A Vermont man who suffered deadly brain bleed has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The family alleges that the death was caused by side effects of Xarelto, a new generation anticoagulant. Xarelto, has recently come under fire from its irreversible bleeding side effects and is the subject of many similar lawsuits.
Thomas C. Dunkley’s daughter Ruth McGowen, filed a claim against Bayer Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary on July 25, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont.
According to the Xarelto allegations, Dunkley was prescribed the blood thinner anticoagulant in July 2012, for treatment of atrial fibrillation to reduce the risk of a embolic stroke.
After using the medication for less than ten days, Dunkley suffered catastrophic brain bleeding or hemorrhage from Xarelto, which was irreversible. Dunkley ultimately died on August 1, 2012.
Xarelto Hemorrhage Lawsuits
There are Xarelto bleeding lawsuits being filed throughout the U.S., that allege patients suffered catastrophic and deadly injuries as a result of unstoppable hemorrhaging while on the anticoagulant. Xarelto, like another controversial anticoagulant Pradaxa, does not have an approved reversal agent to stop the medication’s blood thinning effects.
What is Xarelto?
Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is a new generation anticoagulant, known as “direct thrombin inhibitors,” which are used to reduce the risk of blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and embolic strokes. The drug was jointly developed by Bayer and Janssen, and was approved in late 2011.
Plaintiff Xarelto Allegations
Plaintiffs allege that the drug makers withheld information from consumers and doctors about the lack of an antidote and about the catastrophic bleeding risks with Xarelto.
According to Ruth McGowen, the drug makers put profits before patient safety, and that Bayer and Janssen spent $11 million promoting the drug in 2013 in medical journals alone.
Xarelto Aggressive Marketing Push
Xarelto is aggressively touted as a superior alternative to warfarin, which has been the standard anticoagulation treatment for many years. As a result of the aggressive marketing push, Xarelto generated $582 million in worldwide sales during the first year on the market and total sales reached about $2 billion last year.
Xarelto No Antidote
Allegedly Bayer and Janssen withheld information that there is no Xarelto antidote like there is for warfarin.
According to McGowen claims, “As part of their marketing of Xarelto, Defendants widely disseminated direct-to-consumer advertising campaigns that were designed to influence patients, including Decedent, to make inquiries to their prescribing physician about Xarelto and/or request prescriptions for Xarelto. In the course of these direct-to-consumer advertisements, Defendants overstated the efficacy of Xarelto with respect to preventing stroke and systematic embolism, failed to adequately disclose to patients that there is no drug, agent, or means to reverse the anticoagulation effects of Xarelto, and that such irreversibility could have permanently disabling, life-threatening and fatal consequences.”