In yet another example of a drug meant to help patients, which in fact causes incalculable danger, injury, and death, the drug Pradaxa is receiving increasing scrutiny as its death toll continues to mount.
Pradaxa, also known as dabigatran, is used to prevent strokes in those who have atrial fibrillation, a heart-rhythm disorder. The condition has been treated primarily with warfarin, also known as Coumadin, for the past 60 years.
The drug has become what has known as a “blockbuster,” bringing in well over $1 billion in two years. It is made by Boehringer Ingelheim, a privately-owned German pharmaceutical company. Around 725,000 American patients have been prescribed Pradaxa over the past two years.
Older drugs with blood-thinning effects, such as warfarin, have antidotes to reverse the blood-thinning effects when necessary. Pradaxa does not. Neither do Xarelto and Eliquis, two other drugs intended to replace warfarin, neither of which has enjoyed the rapid success of Pradaxa.
This has led to an exceptionally high number of fatalities. Indeed in the two years the drug has been on the market, it has contributed to at least eight deaths at some hospitals alone. Overall, well over 500 deaths in the United States have been definitively linked to Pradaxa’s irreversible blood-thinning effects. Indeed, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, which monitors over 800 medicines, reports that Pradaxa is linked to more injuries and fatalities than any other drug it tracks.
The Food and Drug Administration has defended its approval of this dangerous drug by noting that patients taking Pradaxa experience the same rate of bleeding complications as those taking warfarin (the older drug with the same use). But because warfarin has an antidote, however, our Pradaxa wrongful death attorneys believe that this comparison does not tell the whole story of the high risk of Pradaxa.
Because the FDA has refused to take action, those who wish to stop the spread of the drug’s use have turned instead to civil lawsuits. Over 100 such suits have already been filed across the United States, with many more surely to follow. These suits can not only help to stop the sale of the drug, but help victims and their families to obtain compensation and justice.
For a free consultation with one of our Chicago Pradaxa wrongful death lawyers at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.