A Louisiana man died from complications brought on by taking the anti-coagulant drug, Pradaxa. The new-gen drug has no known antidote that will counteract it’s blood thinning effects. In the event of a medical emergency, such as internal bleeding, patients must first endure multiple blood transfusions in order to remove Pradaxa from their systems.
Nine Louisiana children filed suit against Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, the maker of anticoagulant drug Pradaxa. The children’s suit alleges Pradaxa killed their father. Louis O. filed the suit on his and his eight siblings’ behalf after father, Anthony O., died from complications of taking Pradaxa.
The suit states that Anthony O. was being treated with Pradaxa for atrial fibrillation (A-fib) without mitral valve involvement, a condition more that 2M Americans face. The disease usually affects aging populations and is more prevalent with age.
The scariest claim in the suit, in my opinion, is that neither the doctor, nor Anthony O. knew that there wasn’t an antidote for Pradaxa in the event of internal bleeding.
The children’s suit further alleges that Boehringer “willfully, wantonly and with malice withheld the knowledge of increased risk of irreversible bleeds in users of Pradaxa to prevent any chances of their product’s registrations being delayed or rejected by FDA.”
Those are some pretty heavy allegations. Unsurprising allegations, given that the suit further claims that Boehringer made a label change in January 2012 after thousands of Pradaxa patients were injured or died, but that the change was “extremely modest, and wholly inadequate.”
How do the plaintiffs define “extremely modest”? The warning of irreversible bleeding events was lost in small print on the fifth and sixth pages of Pradaxa’s warnings and precautions.
Let’s see, the biggest and most dangerous risk of taking Pradaxa only warranted a spot on the fifth and sixth pages and in fine print? Hmmm… Those allegations of a cover up are sure sounding more believable! Also troubling is the fact that Anthony O.’s doctor didn’t read the whole prescribing information guide, but that’s not at issue in the suit.
Anthony O. passed away in September 2014. His nine children are asking (collectively) for a mere $75,000 in compensatory damages for loss of enjoyment of their father’s life and the grief & mental anguish each has experienced due to his death. Talk about “extremely modest.”
Most plaintiffs, in my opinion, would have started with at least one or two more zeroes to the left of the decimal point. This lends credence to the notion that the children are only seeking justice and not a record-setting judgment.