Various court cases have been filed against Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The main complain in almost all these cases is that the patients were exposed to the risk of uncontrolled bleeding while taking the Xarelto anticoagulant. Various studies on this product seem to add credibility to such claims, which resulted into thorough review of the cases.
Xarelto Predisposed Users to Vitreous Hemorrhages
Drs. Judy Hun and John C. Hwang carried out a study to observe the effects of taking this drug in patients within their practice. Their study focused on patients between the ages of 70 and 89. The patients had been using traditional anticoagulant medications before, but switched to Xarelto, following its approval by the FDA in 2011. The empirical observation by these doctors is that the patients who started using this drug had increased eye-bleeding or vitreous hemorrhage cases. Such occurrences coincided with the patients’ change in drug regime.
During the study, the two doctors observed that bleeding cases were more likely to occur in patients who had been using other anticoagulants, such as warfarin, and later changed to this new-generation anticoagulant. The two doctors, Hwang and Hun, later on published their findings in an issue of JAMA Ophthalmology in June 2015. Based on their findings, acute vitreous hemorrhage happened a short period after a patient had shifted medication to rivaroxaban.
Rivaroxaban increased the risk of internal bleeding
Another major study on the effects of this drug was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) issue of April 2015. According to this study, taking this anticoagulant increased the risk of intestinal bleeding by two-fold, as compared to taking warfarin. During this study, the researchers investigated more than 46,000 medical records and observed that this form of bleeding was considerably higher in patients who had been taking warfarin before shifting to rivaroxaban.
The consolidation of the lawsuits
The more than 2,800 individual lawsuits against the Xarelto anticoagulant and its manufacturers, in the United States, have been merged to form the Multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2592. In all these individual law suits, the main complain is that the drug exposed its users to dangerous and uncontrolled bleeding, if they got injured while using the medication. In some cases, the drug is said to have led to the death of patients. The merged cases are now being overseen by Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District Court of Louisiana.