Is Pradaxa, the first alternative to the original blood thinner warfarin, worth its $3000 a year price tag, or is it just as risky as the $200 a year warfarin? The number of Pradaxa injuries leading to lawsuits would indicate that the new drug isn’t a step forward for patients at all.
The FDA approved Pradaxa for the prevention of stroke and blood clots in patients with abnormal heart rhythm in October of 2010. In only a few years, it has been seen to be so dangerous that even cardiologists find themselves reluctant to prescribe it.
Warfarin came with its own risks and downsides. Not only did it require close monitoring by doctors and regular blood tests, but it also carried risks of brain hemorrhages and dangerous bleeding. This is why Pradaxa was greeted with much enthusiasm until the reality of its risks came to light as well.
In 2011, 542 deaths were reported to the FDA as a result of Pradaxa, making Pradaxa the most deadly drug of the year. In contrast, only 72 deaths were reported from warfarin.
Many doctors are seeing in their practices that the danger of Pradaxa is coming mainly from patient misuse, compounded by the fact that the drug does not require close monitoring by the prescribing doctor. If not taken properly, there is a very high likelihood of stroke, serious bleeding, or blood clots. This risk is even greater in patients with compromised kidney function, something which many doctors might not even test for before prescribing Pradaxa.
To compound the problem, there is no antidote to reverse bleeding caused by Pradaxa, as there is with warfarin. Once bleeding occurs, there is practically nothing that doctors can do to stop it.
What do you think? With 2.2 million prescriptions being filled for Pradaxa last year, costing $3000 for a year’s supply, do you think the pharmaceutical company should have come up with a reversal agent by now? Should the FDA recall the drug that has caused more deaths than any other last year?
If you’re been injured by any of these blood thinners, we can help you. Call us now to talk to an attorney that can evaluate your case.