In the last decade, several new blood thinners have come onto the scene which, initially, were welcomed by the medical community. One of these is the new drug, Eliquis. However, as doctors and patients soon discovered, this blood thinner has some serious side effects.
An Alternative To Older Blood Thinners
One of the most popular blood thinners prior to the release of the new generation of drugs was Warfarin. But patients frequently found that their life was seriously disrupted by the limitations set by Warfarin. In fact, while on this blood thinner, patients need to have bloodwork checked repeatedly – sometimes as often as once a week – in order to determine if the dosage is correct. This is because diet, exercise, weight, and other drugs could impact how Warfarin reacts in the body. It is not, however, convenient or painless for patients.
Eliquis, however, does not require regular rechecks and this made it very popular, very quickly, despite a disturbing history.
Clinical Trial Irregularities
Before any drug is released onto the U.S. market through a prescription, it must first go through rigorous testing and earn approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Eliquis was no different and so the manufacturers, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, submitted their request along with the studies that they had performed. In their approval request, they claimed that their drug was safer and more effective than older blood thinners.
There were enough concerns regarding the drug’s safety and questions regarding its efficacy that the approval was delayed by more than nine months. When asked for a reason for the delay, the administration indicated that there was a concern for errors in the studies performed by the manufacturers and that mistakes made showed a “pattern of inadequate trial conduct and oversight.”
The FDA has indicated that issues with the following contributed to the delayed approval:
- Reporting adverse events – either the report was late or they failed to report the adverse event entirely.
- Dosage – patients were given an incorrect dosage or the wrong drug.
- Medical outcomes were excluded.
Yet the drug was still eventually approved and it didn’t take long for the medical community to note that patients were experiencing life-threatening side effects.
Eliquis Side Effects
Reported side effects have included:
Whenever someone is placed on a blood thinner, there is a risk that once bleeding starts, the body may not be able to stop it because the drug prevents it from forming a blood clot. Older blood thinners, like Warfarin, have antidotes that doctors can use to reverse the effect of the blood and encourage bleeding. This way, the patient’s life isn’t at risk.
Eliquis does NOT have an antidote.
This means that once bleeding starts, the only medical option available is to perform a blood transfusion. Doctors may not be able to perform the transfusion fast enough, meaning that the patient may exsanguinate.
This is when bleeding begins in the brain. Not only can this cause swelling, stroke, herniation, and hematomas that can kill brain tissue, it can also be fatal.
If bleeding occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, the patient can end up in hypovolemic shock which is life-threatening. Many times patients don’t even know that they are bleeding internally until they are actually in shock. This condition, combined with unstoppable bleeding, can be deadly.
In a study conducted by gastroenterologists, the results showed that patients on Eliquis had nearly a 25% increase in the risk for forming a GI bleed compared to patients on Warfarin.
The losses that stem from these side effects have led many to file Eliquis lawsuits against the manufacturers of the drug.
What Are The Plaintiffs Alleging?
The first lawsuit regarding Eliquis was filed in July of 2015. Since then, dozens of others have filed their own complaints. These plaintiffs are alleging that:
- Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb were more concerned with making a profit than patient safety.
- That the manufacturers concealed vital information from the FDA during the approval process.
- That they overstated the effectiveness and safety of the drug and hid its risks.
- That the companies did not give the medical community or the public adequate warning about the drug’s lack of an antidote.
- That the drug was negligently marketed.
- That patients were caused unnecessary injury or were killed due to the manufacturer’s decisions about the dug.
In October of 2016, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb submitted a request to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, asking that all federally-filed Eliquis lawsuits be consolidated under one MDL. The panel has yet to approve or deny the request.
What Good Can Come From Filing A Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one suffered side effects after taking the blood thinner Eliquis, you may be eligible for compensation for any losses that you sustained. This may include:
- the cost of medical treatments
- physical pain and suffering
- emotional trauma
- lost income
- funeral and burial expenses
- loss of consortium
- loss of inheritance
Our firm has been helping those who have been harmed by a defective drug for years and has experience with blood thinner lawsuits. We strive to make sure you feel completely at ease from the moment you contact us. You’ve been through enough pain and stress – let us take it from here.