The blood thinner Pradaxa was released in Europe in 2008 and the United States in 2010. It is manufactured and sold by the German drug company Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Europe.
Boehringer Ingelheim was founded in 1885 by Albert Boehringer, named after the founder and the city of its origin, Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany. The company began with the production of tartaric acid and lactic acid, but later expanded into human and animal health.
Unlike Bayer and other German drug companies of the time, Boehringer Ingelheim was not actively involved in the Nazi movement. However, they later hired convicted Nazi medical doctor Fritz Fischer in 1954, who served until his retirement.
Today, Boehringer Ingelheim is among the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, operating with 145 affiliates and more than 42,000 employees. The U.S. subsidy Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1971.
Boehringer Ingelheim produces medications targeted at treating abdominal pain, bladder disruption, COPD, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, HIV, thromboembolic disease, acid reflux and ulcers. Some of the company’s better known products include Dulcolax, Flomax, Metacam, Pradaxa, Mobic, Spiriva and Zantac.
In 2011, the US FDA shut down the drug manufacturing plant of a Boehringer Ingelheim subsidiary in Bedford, Ohio after inspectors noted the facility contained mold, rusty tools, and a barrel of urine. The company ultimately spent $300 million to upgrade the plant.
Most recently, Boehringer has been embroiled in controversy after its blockbuster anticoagulant drug Pradaxa was linked to thousands of injuries and deaths from uncontrollable internal bleeding.
On December 7, 2011, the FDA announced an investigation into Pradaxa after receiving reports of 3,781 side effects and 542 deaths among users, the most of any drug in 2011.
In September of 2012, The Journal for The American Medical Association questioned whether the approval of Pradaxa may have rushed by the FDA, with key side effects like internal bleeding overlooked.
The University of Pécs in Hungary also published a study in September 2012 which suggested the risks of Pradaxa may outweigh benefits, as those taking the drug after an acute heart condition were three times as likely to have a bleeding event.
In the United States, Boehringer Ingelheim faces thousands of lawsuits from patients affected by Pradaxa bleeding. A federal judge recently blocked attempts by the company to dismiss victims’ cases.
If you or a loved one suffered internal bleeding after taking Pradaxa, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible about your legal options.
For more information on the side effects, warnings and legal action related to the drug Pradaxa, or to speak with a lawyer, contact us today. We are available 24 hours a day to provide help.