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For anyone who was on the blood thinner warfarin, the development of a new class of drugs such as Xarelto and Pradaxa that were supposedly just as effective with fewer side effects was big news. Warfarin, a drug that is over 60 years old, was notorious for restricting patient’s diets, requiring regular doctor’s visits, and causing increased risks of bleeding.
However, it was soon discovered that Pradaxa and Xarelto, the new generation of drugs that supposedly skipped all of these side effects, actually caused just as high a risk for bleeding as warfarin, with one important difference: neither new drug has a reversal agent that can be administered to stop bleeding.
But now, after both patient and doctor concern about these bleeding episodes that are essentially untreatable, the makers of Xarelto, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, have joined together with Portola Pharmaceuticals to develop an antidote to Xarelto. At this stage the drug is called PRT4445, and the drug companies hope that doctors will feel more comfortable prescribing the drugs knowing that in case of sudden bleeding or in the case of emergency surgery, an antidote is available.
This development is also accompanied by news that the makers of Xarelto are acting aggressively to get it approved for a wider range of uses. Right now it is approved for treatment of atrial fibrillation and other uses, but Bayer wants to expand Xarelto’s uses and therefore its profits.
While Bayer is making every attempt to increase its profits by getting Xarelto approved for new uses, we think it is high time that the pharmaceutical company invest some resources in developing an antidote for those who have taken it and suffered dangerous bleeding episodes.
If you or a loved one have been injured by Xarelto, Pradaxa, or any other blood thinning drug, contact a Pradaxa attorney at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP for a free case review to see if you may be eligible for compensation. Time is of the essence, so call today.