An example of the breakup of the litigation logjam involves Plavix. Cases against the makers of Plavix, the popular blood thinning drug, are back on track now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on federal preemption. A federal judge in New Jersey handling the 29 cases in the multi-district litigation had put the cases on hold awaiting the Court’s decision. The suits allege that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, which manufacture and market Plavix, failed to warn about the increased risk of heart attack, stroke and potentially fatal blood disorders. Two new studies have surfaced in the past two months on the risks of blood thinners in combination with proton pump inhibitors, commonly prescribed for gastrointestinal bleeding.
The suits allege that the manufacturers marketed Plavix for heart attack patients as an alternative to aspirin that caused less bleeding, despite studies that showed the opposite. In effect, they sold a drug that doesn’t work and costs four dollars a pill, compared to aspirin that costs four cents a pill, which worked better and was safer. A very simple and honest warning was needed. All the company had to do was say Plavix was not as safe as aspirin. After a study showed that Plavix was not safer than aspirin, the companies switched the marketing campaign to promote a dual therapy of aspirin and Plavix.
Two recent studies indicate that the risk of heart attack or death is increased when Plavix is combined with proton pump inhibitors, like Nexium or Prilosec, which are often prescribed to prevent gastrointestinal bleeding. A number of cases also allege that Plavix causes a serious blood disorder, called thrombocytopenic pura (TTP), that causes platelet destruction and is often fatal. Doctors can perform a blood test to see whether a patient has an early reaction to the drug. But how many times has a drug company told doctors they need to do a blood test when they prescribe a drug. I believe you know the obvious answer to that question.
Source: Lawyers USA
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