Pradaxa, the anticoagulant drug manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim and approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) only two years ago, was supposed to be better than Coumadin to control blood clots that could lead to strokes in Americans with an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation. However, unlike Coumadin, Pradaxa has no known antidote to reverse its effects – which can lead to so-called bleed-out deaths. Thousands of injuries and deaths have been linked to Pradaxa, and more Pradaxa lawsuits are being filed against the company every day.
FDA Reports 542 Pradaxa Deaths / 3,781 Pradaxa Injuries
The FDA has reported that there have been 542 Pradaxa deaths and 3,781 Pradaxa injuries tied to the drug since 2011 – which has led to a steep increase in lawsuits against Boehringer.
According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle in December 2012, there are currently about 150 Pradaxa lawsuits filed against Boehringer and more are being filed every day. Those lawsuits claim that the company knew that Pradaxa was defective because there was no antidote to stop bleeding in patients who were switched from Coumadin (generically known as Warfarin) to Pradaxa (generically known as Dabigatran), but failed to warn users of the risks.
Why Patients Switched From Coumadin To Pradaxa
Coumadin has been on the market for 50 years and has worked relatively well as an anticoagulant. However, Coumadin patients require regular medical monitoring – which is expensive and time consuming. Pradaxa was marketed as being just as effective as Coumadin, without a need for continual medical monitoring. So, who wouldn’t switch, right?
Many doctors prescribing anticoagulants did switch their patients to Pradaxa – and sales of the drug skyrocketed. In fact, Boehringer reported that its revenue for Pradaxa reached nearly $1.5 billion in the two years it has been on the market and that overall company sales have increased 20 percent – mostly due to Pradaxa’s popularity.
Pradaxa Popularity May Be Short Lived
Unfortunately, that popularity may be short lived as more and more drug injury victims and their families report Pradaxa side effects. The San Francisco Chronicle article recounted the story of a 72-year-old woman who was given Pradaxa after having a stroke. Although she had taken Coumadin in the past, doctors switched her to Pradaxa because they thought it was better. However, after recovering from her stroke, this grandmother soon ended up back in the hospital with internal bleeding – which proved to be fatal. Her husband, now a widower, is one of the many who has sued the company seeking not only answers, but compensation as well.
As an attorney who has dedicated my legal practice to helping people injured by Pradaxa and other unsafe drugs, I am committed to helping families obtain justice after serious drug side effects and wrongful deaths. We’d like to explain how we can help.