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Lawsuits Aren't Slowing Plavix Sales

Aug 25, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

Safety worries don't seem to be impacting sales of the Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis blood thinner, Plavix. According to the latest quarterly earning report for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Plavix sales increased 17 percent over the year-ago quarter, making it the company's best-selling drug.

Sales are strong in spite of the growing litigation that has raised questions about the safety and effectiveness of Plavix. As we've reported previously, more than 40 people throughout the county have filed Plavix lawsuits, and plaintiffs lawyers are expecting hundreds - if not thousands - of more filings.

Most of those lawsuits will likely end up in state court in New Jersey, where Sanofi is headquartered, and home to several Bristol-Myers Squibb facilities. Earlier this month, dozens of Plavix injury lawsuits were centralized in New Jersey, and transferred to Superior Court Judge Jessica R. Mayer in Middlesex.

Users of the drug allege that they have suffered a variety of injuries, including gastrointestinal bleeding, severe ulcers, heart attacks, strokes and the rare blood disorder thrombotic thrombocytopenic purport (TTP), because of Plavix. The plaintiffs in Plavix lawsuits also claim the drug's benefits were overstated, and that is no better a blood thinner than aspirin, but carries more side effects.

Plavix users who still wish to file a lawsuit will need to do so soon. In most states, there is a statute-of-limitations of two years for personal injury lawsuits. The clock would have started ticking on that deadline in March 2010, when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration mandated the black box warning for Plavix.

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