It has been reported that Bayer AG has paid at least $60 million to settle about 150 lawsuits over Trasylol, a drug used to prevent excessive bleeding during heart surgery. Trasylol can cause kidney damage, heart failure and strokes, and greatly increase patients’ risk of post-surgery death when compared to rival treatments. The FDA first expressed official concern over Trasylol in 2006, after a study by Dr. Dennis Mangano published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that the drug more than doubled the risk of renal failure, and suspended sales in November 2007. Trasylol had been on the market for 14 years.
Lawsuits involving Trasylol have consolidated and are pending in the MDL. According to Jim Ronca, co-lead counsel of the Plaintiff’s steering committee, Bayer is settling the suits on a case-by-case basis. Bayer reviews each case, one by one, on the relative strengths, merits and weaknesses of the case. They apparently try to settle the cases that appear to be certain losers for the company. Jim says the settlement framework devised by Bayer involves a “detailed, almost line-by-line analysis of the medical records of each case.” For example, he says a younger patient who had simple surgery, spent little time on a heart bypass machine and experienced no infections would have a stronger case than someone older whose surgery was longer and more complicated. Over 4.5 million patients worldwide, including 1.5 million patients in the U.S., are estimated to have been given Trasylol before sales were suspended. Nationwide, approximately 1,600 of the original 2,000 cases are still pending.
Source: Lawyers USA Online
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