TheProductLawyers.com reports on the plaintiffs suing the makers of Xarelto, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of the Johnson and Johnson Corporation, and Bayer AG, and their reaction to Xarelto commercials. Several commercials have celebrities promoting the benefits of the drug yet they fail to mention the dangerous side effects related to excessive and sometimes fatal bleeding associated with its use. The commercial in question is a promotional piece featuring popular athletes and television celebrities such as NBA star Chris Bosh, Saturday Night Live personality Kevin Nealon, golf legend Arnold Palmer, and NASCAR hit Brian Vickers. Each of these celebrity spokespersons speaks of the benefits of the drug, but fail to make any mention of the dangerous risks that many patients taking the drug face. Plaintiffs in the over 3,000 cases have a much different view of the drug than that being represented in the commercials.
An Ominous Warning
In a disturbing development, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Xarelto two black box warnings since the agency approved the new-generation blood-thinning drug. A black box warning is a very severe and harsh warning that a product can receive, often before it is pulled from the market entirely.
Lawsuits Are Increasing In Number
Since its release on the market, Xarelto has become the focus of many federal courtroom proceedings across the United States. Over 2,800 cases have been consolidated by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) because all the cases involved the same defendants, Janssen and Bayer, and had the same allegations related to excessive bleeding levied in all of the court filings. The multidistrict litigation (MDL) will be overseen by the Honorable Judge Eldon Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana.
While these plaintiffs await their day in court, another 550 have been consolidated in a mass tort program in Philadelphia, PA. It is expected that more cases will be added as the litigation continues.