The pharmaceutical firms behind Xarelto – the widely promoted blood thinner – reached a settlement worth $775 million after nearly 25,000 patients filed lawsuits since they weren’t warmed adequately about the threats of life-threatening effects, the manufacturer and plaintiff attorneys said on Monday.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Healthcare had won 6 of the cases in the trial. Bayer announced in a statement that the deal “enables the firm to avoid the considerable cost and distraction of constant litigation.”
Xarelto is basically the brand name for the medication rivaroxaban. Among its applications is prevention and treatment of blood clots in the lung or leg as well as prevention of strokes in those people with abnormal heartbeats. Widely promoted on TV, it was peddled in a widely watched advertisement in 2015, which featured Brian Vickers – NASCAR driver, Arnold Palmer – golfer, and Kevin Nealon – comedian.
Lawsuits have been dated back to 2014 and consolidated in New Orleans’s federal court. They involved those claims which users of the drug advertised by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Healthcare were not informed sufficiently informed of complications of life-threatening effects including deaths, strokes, and internal bleeding.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys considered the settlement as a “just and fair resolution” in a statement highlighting its details. It outlined a court-appointed master and a claim administrator would be appointed to process appeals and manage claims.
“It might have taken more than 4 years and 6 trials but a case like this is a great opportunity for consumers to have their voice in drug safety,” Brian Barr – lead plaintiff lawyer – said in the statement.
Eldon Faldon – the US District Judge – was in charge of the litigation. On Monday, he released a series of orders concerning the implementation of the deal. A thorough settlement document hadn’t been filed on Monday midday.
The statement of the plaintiffs announced that apart from addressing lawsuits which are already a part of the multi-district litigation, the deal helps solve newly submitted claims by patients who had assigned an attorney to look into Xarelto-related personal claims before 11th March if they file their claim by 28th March and file suit by 4th April.
There hasn’t an estimate on how much a patient will get. Basically, payments would be “considerably reduced” for those who submitted after or on 1st December, 2015, or for patients who first experienced an injury caused by the drug after or on 1st March, 2016, the release from the lawyers said.