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Pharmaceutical company to pay $650 million to settle Pradaxa suit

Tennessee residents who have been prescribed blood-thinning medications may be aware that some of these drugs have been linked with an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. The German pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug Pradaxa was named in about 4,000 state and federal product liability lawsuits over the GI bleeding issue, and they announced on May 28 that a $650 million settlement has been reached to settle the litigation.

A senior vice president of the company said that the settlement, which is expected to settle most if not all of the lawsuits, was reached in order to avoid the distraction and unpredictable outcome of a series of protracted legal disputes. However, the executive asserted that the company in no way admitted that Pradaxa was dangerous, and he maintained that the lawsuits against the company had no merit.

The settlement agreement comes 15 days after the Food and Drug Administration published a drug safety communication about Pradaxa and warfarin. The communication contained results from a survey of 134,000 Medicare patients, and it found a higher rate of GI bleeding among those using Pradaxa. However, the study also found that Pradaxa was more effective than warfarin at lowing the chances of strokes caused by a blood clot and bleeding in the brain.

Bringing a product liability legal action against a large corporation can be challenging. These companies usually have qualified legal representation and considerable resources, but they may still face civil sanctions when their products cause injury, loss or damage. An attorney with product liability experience may be able to give a qualified assessment of the merits of a case related to a dangerous product or medication. They could also give a potential plaintiff an understanding of how their case is likely to develop as well as its likelihood of being successful.

Source: United Press International, “Pradaxa maker reaches $650 million settlement in state and federal litigation “, Veronica Linares, May 30, 2014

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