Blood thinners (a.k.a. anticoagulants) alter the chemical processes in the body to lengthen the time it takes to form a blood clot. Blood thinners have been available in the American pharmaceutical market for over 50 years; however, it was not until recently that a number of new blood thinning drugs became available.
These new drugs include Pradaxa (dabigatran), Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and Eliquis (apixaban) that work by inhibiting factor Xa, an enzyme responsible for blood clotting. The new class of blood thinners differs from older blood thinners that work by preventing the activation of molecules known as thrombin, which is crucial to the process of blood clotting.
The new anti-clotting drug Eliquis is produced by Bristol-Myers Squibb and marketed by Pfizer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for use in the American market in 2012. Eliquis is approved to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people who have atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular heartbeat, not caused by a heart valve problem. AFib is a condition in which a person experiences an irregular heart rhythm allowing blood to pool in the heart, thus increasing the risk of blood clots. Eliquis has also been approved to treat and prevent blood clots in the veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism). Further, the drug is also approved as a treatment to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms in patients recovering from hip or knee replacement surgery.
Eliquis was touted as a replacement for the older blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin), which had fallen out of favor with some doctors due to its side effect profile and associated need for patients on the drug to be carefully monitored. However, as Eliquis became more widely used, the drug’s supposed safety was called into question as users began to experience serious adverse effects.
Side Effects and Injures From Eliquis
Like other anti-clotting drugs, Eliquis can cause serious side effects in users ranging from gastrointestinal or cerebral hemorrhage, internal bleeding, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, shock, and death. Uncontrolled bleeding represents one of the most common side effects, and in some cases leada to other serious comorbidities.
Further cause for concern rests in the fact that users who experience uncontrolled bleeding while taking Eliquis may be at a particularly high risk from the lack of a method to reverse this condition. Unlike warfarin, which allows doctors to treat hemorrhaging patients with Vitamin K, Eliquis, and other new anti-clotting drugs, cannot be countered by a specific antidote. This leaves patients in the unenviable condition of waiting for the blood thinning effect of the drug to wear off before any damage is done. For patients with uncontrolled bleeding, the results can lead to death or disability in serious cases.
FDA is Receiving Hundreds of Injury Reports Linked to Eliquis
Despite efforts by the drug’s manufacturers to gloss over dangers to users, the warning signs related to Eliqiuis were present even before the FDA issued its final approval for the drug. In 2012, the FDA delayed approval for Eliquis based on questions about the integrity and validity of clinical trials conducted on the drug. Clinical trials for the drug were conducted in China, and as was later uncovered in media reports, the integrity of the trials process was called into question by the FDA due to alleged fraud at one or more of the Chinese clinical trial sites. As reported in a Bloomberg news article published in 2013 “The delay came after the company told the FDA that patients got the wrong medicine, records were secretly changed and “serious adverse events” went unreported, the documents show.” Given these problems with testing the drug’s safety, the claims made by the drug’s manufacturer as to the relative safety of Eliquis are suspect and place users at risk.
Although it is difficult to estimate the extent of injuries caused by Eliquis, estimates show that thousands of users have been injured by Eliquis. It is reported that some users are experiencing minor injuries, and other cases involving hospitalization, disability or death. Documented injuries linked to Eliquis involve uncontrolled bleeding, organ damage, or brain hemorrhages, and in some cases, patients have suffered permanent disability or death related to the fact Eliquis does not have an effective antidote for uncontrolled bleeding.
The harmful effects of Eliquis may be masked by other chronic illnesses, making it difficult for accurate reporting of adverse effects. In these cases, the manufacturers and marketers of Eliquis have been allowed to continue to profit from a patently harmful drug. Pfizer, the company marketing Eliquis, has been associated with dangerous drugs in the past. In 2009, Pfizer settled charges made by the United States Department of Justice for illegally marketing Bextra for $2.3 billion. The settlement represented the largest drug related fraud settlement in United States history.
Why are Eliquis Lawsuits Being Filed?
Users of Eliquis, injured by the drug, are seeking compensation for their injuries based on a number of theories. Just like other users injured by dangerous drugs administered to patients, injured users of Eliquis are seeking compensation from the companies producing and marketing Eliquis. The theories under which users may claim compensation involve failing to warn the public of the drug’s risk, concealment of dangerous side effects caused by the drug discovered in the clinical trial process, and negligence in the design, research, manufacturing and marketing of Eliquis. Injured Eliquis victims may be eligible for reimbursement of medical expenses, lost earnings, and other Eliquis damages.
If you or a loved one has suffered from uncontrolled bleeding, organ damage, or brain hemorrhages while taking Eliquis, you may be entitled to reimbursement for your harms and losses. These multinational corporations are not allowed to knowingly place unsuspecting consumers in harm’s way in the name of profits.
A top 100 Trial Lawyer is standing by to discuss your Eliquis claim. Call The Dixon Injury Firm today for a FREE Eliquis case consultation. There is NO FEE for our services unless we win. We are here to help by calling 855-55-BAD-DRUG.