Doctors began filing complaints about Pradaxa shortly after it hit the market in 2010. It was supposed to be better than Warfarin (Coumadin) for dissolving dangerous blood clots in the legs that might travel to the heart or the lungs, causing a fatal attack. It was also prescribed for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that can cause blood clots.
TV commercials claimed that quality of life would improve for patients on Pradaxa. They could quit having frequent tests at the doctor’s office to make sure their blood was not too thick or too thin and they didn’t have to be on a special diet – both are required for patients on Warfarin.
But Pradaxa, unlike Warfarin, has no antidote. Once a patient on Pradaxa begins bleeding, it is almost impossible to stop. In spite of everything doctors tried to save them, patients on Pradaxa began quickly losing their lives in emergency rooms all across the country. In 2012, The New York Times reported that Pradaxa was a suspect in 542 deaths in its first two years on the market.
“The practical experience is that once hemorrhagic complications occur with this drug, it is much more likely to be catastrophic than with Coumadin,” said Dr. Richard H. Schmidt, associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Utah in 2012, one of the many doctors raising questions about Pradaxa.
Complaints from physicians around the country, reporting deaths and near deaths from Pradaxa, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were on the increase. A Houston doctor reported that an elderly man walked into an emergency room at his hospital in 2011 after a minor fall and bled to death a few hours later. That doctor reported eight similar Pradaxa deaths in one year at his hospital. According to doctors in Utah, a patient with a brain hemorrhage died after a minor fall in a Salt Lake City hospital in 2013.
According to an FDA review, Pradaxa’s “entire benefit disappeared” when test results were compared to “…warfarin users whose levels were well-controlled.” In 2014, Pradaxa’s German manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim, paid $650 million to settle 4,000 Pradaxa lawsuits.
Anyone who’s loved one died, or who experienced a dangerous bleeding incident while taking Pradaxa should contact the Wayne Wright law firm. Wayne Wright lawyers have been representing victims of bad drugs for more than 30 years. Needless suffering, caused when a drug is misrepresented, or its benefits are overemphasized, deserves compensation.