According to a recently-released report by the news organization ProPublica, manufacturers of the anticoagulant (blood thinner) Xarelto made more physician payments than any other drug company in 2015. Physician payments were made for promotional speaking, travel, gifts, and meals. But not for research. Past studies have shown that when physicians receive payments from a drug manufacturer, they tend to prescribe more of that manufacturer’s drugs than those who do not. Considering the high risk of serious, potentially life-threatening side effects linked to Xarelto, this is certainly cause for concern.
Each year, ProPublica gathers information about payments made by pharmaceutical companies to physicians for promos, travel, royalties, etc. Across the board, pharmaceutical and medical device companies made approximately $2 billion in physician payments in 2014 and 2015, with Xarelto payments taking the cake in 2015. ProPublica’s study is not the only one to find that these payments result in higher prescriptions of related drugs. Researchers at Harvard Medical School had similar findings in 2016. In a study of medical industry payments to physicians in Massachusetts, they found that for every $1,000 a physician received, his or her rate of prescribing the associated drug increased by 0.1 percent. If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective pharmaceutical, contact a Boston drug injury lawyer today.
Xarelto Linked to Excessive Bleeding
There are currently more than 11,000 Xarelto lawsuits pending in the U.S. It goes without saying that plaintiffs in these cases will likely use the findings from the ProPublica report to support their claims that Xarelto’s manufacturers, Johnson and Johnson and AG Bayer, failed to warn physicians and patients about the risks associated with the drug. Marketed as a low-maintenance alternative to warfarin, Xarelto quickly rose in popularity. Due to high demand, Xarelto’s manufacturers may have rushed the product to market without adequate safety testing. Although all anticoagulants come with an increased risk of excessive bleeding (hemorrhaging), warfarin has an antidote to that bleeding, known as a reversal agent. To date, Xarelto has no such reversal agent. Excessive bleeding has resulted in thousands of injuries and some deaths. If you have been harmed by a defective prescription drug, contact a MA drug injury lawyer today.
Symptoms of Internal Bleeding
If you are currently undergoing Xarelto treatment, talk to your doctor about the risks of excessive bleeding. As internal bleeding may not be immediately apparent, it is important to look for possible signs. If the bleeding is rapid and severe, blood may collect under the skin, forming a bulge or discolored spot. Severe bleeding may result in shock or loss of consciousness. If you develop any of the symptoms below, seek immediate medical attention:
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Dark urine
- Dark stool
- Unexplained bruises
- Blood clots
- Cough that produces blood
- Blood in vomit
- Unexplained pain
- Joint pain
Lawsuits allege that Xarelto manufacturers failed to warn physicians about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding, that the drug was defectively designed, and that warning labels were not updated in a timely manner. Johnson & Johnson and Bayer AG are also under fire for not recalling Xarelto when the risks became apparent. Continue reading