Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer asked a Philadelphia judge to toss a case currently in trial blaming the drug companies for not adequately warning about bleeding risks with their blood thinner Xarelto, arguing that there is no evidence that the prescribing physician in the case would have given the plaintiff a different medication if stronger warnings had been on the label, because he testified he didn’t even read the drug’s label. As a result, Janssen and Bayer argued, the plaintiff doesn’t have a case.
The trial involves the case of Daniel Russell, who in April 2013 had a stent placed to treat a blocked coronary artery. He also had an irregular heartbeat. At that time, he was prescribed two anti-platelet medications – aspirin and Plavix – to prevent blood clots.
Later, his heart was shocked back into rhythm, and he was prescribed Xarelto to prevent blood clots from forming and causing a stroke. After a seven-day course of Xarelto, Russell was rushed back to the hospital and diagnosed with a massive gastrointestinal bleed.
Russell blames Janssen and Bayer for failing to warn that a patient’s risk of having a major bleeding event was significantly increased when the drug was also used with other antiplatelet drugs.
Russell’s is the second case in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas to go to trial among about 1,700 cases. Janssen and Bayer face another 20,000 cases in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.