Johnson & Johson faces pharmaceutical litigation

Yet again, the Johnson & Johnson company finds itself embroiled in a new slew of lawsuits on both state and federal levels. This latest round of pharmaceutical litigation involves a drug known as Xarelto, marketed as an alternative to the anticoagulant Coumadin. All of the suits against the company and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals involve severe internal bleeding – sometimes fatal – from patients who took the prescription medication. Residents of Ohio may want to familiarize themselves with the possible risks of taking this popular – but potentially deadly – medication.

Warfarin, marketed under the brand name Coumadin, is a prescription drug developed in the 1950s to thin the blood for patients at risk for clotting. Easily reversed with a dose of vitamin K, the medication is simple to counteract when necessary, but that also prevents patients taking the drug from being able to eat foods containing that vitamin. Because of this, drug manufacturers have been attempting to create alternatives.

The FDA started approving some of these replacement anticoagulants in 2010, and, in 2011, Xarelto came on the market. While easier to take than Coumadin, complications arose when physicians were unable to stop the bleeding in users of the medication in emergency situations. Patients who had taken the drug and subsequently suffered injuries even as minor as bumps to the head ended up dying when their blood wouldn't clot. Additionally, an alarming number of patients have allegedly suffered from uncontrollable gastrointestinal bleeding developed as a result of the drug.

The more than 15,000 lawsuits aimed at Johnson & Johnson allege that, despite evidence of the high risk of uncontrollable bleeding potentially caused by the drug, the company and its subsidiaries aggressively marketed the medication while downplaying the possible dangerous side effects. Anyone in Ohio who has taken the medication Xarelto and suffered injury as a result may wish to contact an attorney. A lawyer with experience in pharmaceutical litigation may be able to provide counsel as to how best to proceed.

Source: dailyhornet.com, "Xarelto Trials Begin April 24 Unless Lawyers Reach Settlement", Elizabeth Bradley, April 5, 2017

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