Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer’s blood thinner Eliquis can cause uncontrollable bleeding, and it does not have an antidote. The drug’s approval process and clinical trials were highly criticized, and the number of lawsuits filed against the manufacturers is expected to rise.
The blood thinner Eliquis (apixaban) faced intense scrutiny during its drug approval process. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration delayed its approval for nine months, and some FDA reviewers opposed claims of its superior safety and efficacy compared to more traditional blood thinners.
Doctors prescribe Eliquis to prevent the risk of strokes and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). However, a large study used to prove the drug’s safety and efficacy was heavily flawed.
Study Flaws Included:
- Inaccurate and missing data
- Patients receiving incorrect medication
- Patients receiving incorrect doses of medication
- Failure to report adverse events, including deaths
Why File an Eliquis Lawsuit
People who were harmed by similar blood thinners, Pradaxa (dabigatran) and Xarelto (rivaroxaban), filed thousands of lawsuits against the manufacturers for failing to warn about the medications’ risks. After the controversial approval of Eliquis, legal experts expected it to cause similar complications.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer marketed Eliquis as more effective than the older blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) and attempted to claim the drug resulted in fewer deaths. However, the first lawsuit involving Eliquis alleges those claims weren’t true after a man died while taking the drug.
Reasons to file a lawsuit include:
- Fraud: Manufacturers fraudulently conducted a clinical trial to conceal side effects of Eliquis.
- Failure to warn: Manufacturers failed to warn about the risks associated with a blood thinner that has no antidote.
- False claims: Manufacturers misrepresented the drug’s safety in direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns.
- Negligence: Manufacturers were negligent in their design, research, manufacturing and marketing of Eliquis.
- Compensation: People harmed or whose loved ones were harmed should seek compensation for pain, suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost earnings and other economic damages.
Blood Thinner Lawsuits
Eliquis is not the first blood thinner involved in litigation. Pradaxa and Xarleto both became involved in lawsuits for their side effects shortly after their release to the public.
Pradaxa Settles Lawsuits for $650 Million
Pharmaceutical manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim settled more than 4,000 lawsuits for $650 million in 2014. The Pradaxa lawsuits accused the drug of causing uncontrollable bleeding and deaths. Studies showed Pradaxa caused more heart attacks than warfarin, and both Australia and Japan issued safety warnings for the drug.
Xarelto Lawsuits Pile Up in MDL
More than 500 lawsuits blame Xarelto of causing uncontrollable bleeding, including intestinal bleeding and brain hemorrhaging. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) consolidated the cases to the Eastern District of Louisiana in 2014 where they are pending.
Lawsuits Against Bristol-Myers and Pfizer
Lawsuits involving Eliquis could involve its most dangerous side effect, an increased risk of uncontrollable bleeding.
Other Eliquis side effects include:
- Bruising easily
- Developing skin rash
- Internal bleeding
- Brain hemorrhaging
Deborah and Donald Herschell
In 2014, Donald Herschell’s doctor prescribed Eliquis to treat his irregular heartbeat. Two months later, he suffered a gastrointestinal hemorrhage (bleeding within the stomach or intestines). The bleeding was irreversible, and he eventually died in a hospital the same day.
Mr. Herschell’s wife, Deborah, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York claiming Bristol-Myers and Pfizer used incompetent researchers to conduct a major study in China in order to cut costs.
According to the lawsuit, the researchers committed fraud by:
- Concealing Eliquis side effects from test results
- Failing to report a death
- Losing participants
- Changing and falsifying records
The lawsuit also claims the manufacturers misled the public and medical community by failing to disclose the errors. FDA reviewers and medical scholars both criticized the results of the Eliquis study.
Additionally, Herschell claims the manufacturers promoted Eliquis as superior to warfarin in direct-to-consumer advertisements and promotional items to the Herschell’s doctor but failed to inform them of the lack of an antidote.
Herschell is suing for compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages, and punitive damages.
How We Can Help
We provide the latest information and news on Eliquis, including warnings, cautions, side effects, clinical trial updates, study publications and lawsuit news. If you or a loved one were harmed while taking Eliquis, Drugwatch can help you determine if a lawsuit is right for you.
When a dangerous drug affects a family, the physical and emotional toll can be draining on everyone involved. Lawsuits against multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies are long and expensive. Drugwatch is a consumer-advocacy organization that helps people harmed by dangerous drugs.
Status of Eliquis Lawsuits
The first Eliquis lawsuit was filed in July of 2015, and lawyers expect more plaintiffs to file as they experience side effects from the drug. There is no current class-action lawsuit or multidistrict litigation court involving Eliquis. If numerous plaintiffs file similar complaints with similar facts against Bristol-Myers and Pfizer, courts may choose to consolidate them into and MDL.