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Date posted: 2/13/2013

While German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim continues to maintain that its popular blood thinner Pradaxa is safer than alternatives, they now face hundreds of lawsuits from victims over internal bleeding as well as growing reports that the drug may have higher fatality rates than the competition.

Although the FDA, which is staffed with former drug executives, issued an update in November claiming Pradaxa carries the same risks as warfarin, other safety experts haven’t fallen in line to support the drug as quickly.

The American College of Cardiology has cautioned that Pradaxa use can significantly increase the risk of bleeding complications compared to warfarin.

Most recently, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices warned that blood thinners such as Pradaxa are among the highest of all outpatient drugs for patient risks. In addition, the Institute found in a review of FDA adverse event reports that bleeding cases related to Pradaxa were nearly 5 times as likely to result in death than those for warfarin.*

One thing that isn’t under debate is the backlash from patients. So far, nearly 200 have filed a Pradaxa lawsuit claiming the drug caused critical or fatal internal bleeding. Due to the rising number of cases, a federal panel moved them to a special multi-district court in Illinois.

Traditionally, cases for serious injury or death from a defective drug have yielded substantial compensation for victims, such as with Paxil, Vioxx, Yaz and Avandia.

Last August, Boehringer Ingelheim tried to block victims’ rights to file claims, however, Judge David Herndon, who is overseeing the litigation, denied the request.

Fortunately for the thousands of patients affected by Pradaxa, they can seek to recover through the legal system while the experts continue to debate whether the drug is safe.

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

Contact us today for more information on the research, side effects and litigation news related to Pradaxa, or to speak with a lawyer.

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