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Date posted: 1/30/2013

As German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim prepares to defend hundreds of lawsuits claiming that its blockbuster anticoagulant Pradaxa caused severe or fatal internal bleeding without proper warning, drug safety experts continue to debate whether the medicine is more dangerous than prior alternatives.

However, one thing cannot be debated: the striking rate at which those suffering Pradaxa-related bleeding die rather than just receiving treatment for internal hemorrhaging.

After nearly a year of independent reports questioning the safety of Pradaxa, the FDA sparked debate in November when they issued an update saying the drug carries the same risks as warfarin. However, the American College of Cardiology has warned that Pradaxa use can significantly increase the risk of bleeding complications compared to warfarin.

This month, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices cautioned that anticoagulants like Pradaxa have some of the highest risks for patients of all outpatient drugs. However, a closer review of FDA adverse event reports by the ISMP revealed that bleeding cases related to Pradaxa are almost 5 times as likely to result in death than with warfarin.*

To date, almost 200 patients or families have filed a Pradaxa lawsuit claiming the drug caused critical or fatal internal bleeding. The number of claims caused a federal panel to move the lawsuits to a special multi-district court in Illinois.

Last year, Pradaxa maker Boehringer Ingelheim tried to block the right of families or patients to file an injury or death claim. However, Judge David Herndon, who is overseeing the litigation, denied the request.

Luckily, those who have been affected by the drug have the right to seek compensation through the legal system, even while the supposed experts debate whether the drug is safe.

If you or a loved one have been affected by internal bleeding after taking Pradaxa, it is important to speak with a lawyer aboutyour 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