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Date posted: 1/21/2013

January 21, 2013 – In the ongoing litigation over allegations that the popular blood thinner Pradaxa caused hundreds of patients severe or fatal internal bleeding episodes, the court seems unwilling to grant German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim the corporate protection it is accustomed to in its native country.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices recently warned that anticoagulants like Pradaxa rank among the highest in patient risks compared with all other outpatient drugs, and bleeding cases submitted to the FDA show hemorrhages from Pradaxa are almost 5 times as likely to result in death than with warfarin.*

So far, as many as 176 patients have filed a Pradaxa lawsuit over internal bleeding, so many that the cases have been consolidated to a special federal court in Illinois.

Early in the litigation, drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim tried to block patient’s rights to file the suits, which Judge David Herndon denied.

Last fall, Judge Herndon also ordered that the German company would have to make available research and experts from its European operations as well as those in America, further stripping their attempts to limit information reaching the court.

Most recently, Judge Herndon signed an order on January 19th denying attempts by Boehringer to exclude information about prior lawsuits regarding false promotion, marketing or kickbacks for their drugs.**

In Germany, corporations enjoy so much protection against litigation that company representatives can’t even be submitted to deposition testimony before trial. Here, however, our justice system promotes the free-flowing discloser of evidence.

Despite the litigation, experts continue to disagree about the safety of Pradaxa and its risk for bleeding. In November, the FDA issued an update that the drug carries the same risks as warfarin.*** However, the Americal College of Cardiology has warned that Pradaxa use can significantly increase the risk of bleeding complications compared to warfarin.****

If you or a loved one have been affected by internal bleeding after taking Pradaxa, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your legal options. Due to the specialized nature of federal drug injury cases, DrugRisk only recommends lawyers who are already handling Pradaxa lawsuits.

For more information on the research, side effects and litigation news related to Pradaxa and other drugs, or to speak with a lawyer, contact us today.

*Instutute for Safe Medication Practices, 1/9/13; ismp.org/quarterwatch/pdfs/2012Q2.pdf

**ilsd.uscourts.gov/opinions/ilsd_live.3.12.md.2385.2251290.0.pdf#search=%22pradaxa%22

***fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm326580.htm

**** http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1206384