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Plavix Lawsuit Location to be decided by U.S. Supreme Court

Jan 25, 2017

Drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb, is facing allegations that their anticoagulant Plavix, caused serious bleeding injuries. The United States Supreme Court will determine where the Plavix litigation will take place.

Plavix Indications and Complications

Plavix Lawsuit Location to be decided by U.S. Supreme Court

Plavix is a blood thinner frequently prescribed to patients who have suffered a stroke or a heart attack. The lawsuits allege that the anticoagulant has caused serious bleeding injuries. Alleged Plavix injuries include cerebral (brain) bleeding, bleeding ulcers, rectal bleeding, stroke, and death.

The product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have extensive experience representing clients in drug injury lawsuits. Our lawyers are actively reviewing potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have been injured by pharmaceuticals, including Plavix.

Plavix Legal Background and Ongoing Issues

Eight separate product liability lawsuits were filed in San Francisco Superior Court concerning Plavix bleeding injuries. The cases supposedly represent 678 plaintiffs who suffered excessive, on occasion fatal bleeding allegedly due to Plavix adverse side effects, according to court documents. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) notes that 592 plaintiffs are not California residents and argues that the state’s courts do not have the right to oversee their litigation.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is headquartered in New York and conducts research and development in New Jersey. The pharmaceutical company operations do not occur outside of these two states and does not have substantial business contacts in California. The company does, however, reportedly have five offices in California and has 164 researchers employed in its laboratory facilities.

In addition, some 250 sales representatives based in California work for BMS. The lawsuits allege that California wholesalers and distributors purchased 187 million Plavix pills from 2006 to 2012. The complaint states that these sales totaled $918 million.

The lawsuits allege that BMS misrepresented Plavix by claiming that it has "greater cardiovascular benefits, while being safer and easier on a person’s stomach than aspirin."

The suit additionally maintains that Plavix side effects caused heart attack, stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, and cerebral hemorrhaging. Court records said that 18 plaintiffs alleged wrongful death. In addition to other claims, BMS allegedly exaggerated the benefits of Plavix while neglecting to warn about the risks.

In 2016, the California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that Plavix lawsuits against BMS can move forward even though most plaintiffs are out-of-state. Bristol-Myers Squibb then petitioned for a writ of certiorari. The U.S. Supreme Court recently took up the case that will determine where Bristol-Myers Squibb must battle with plaintiffs who say the blood thinner Plavix caused bleeding or a stroke.

Plavix was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997. The anticoagulant is meant to prevent blood clots and similar complications, such as heart attack and stroke. Lawsuits filed involving Plavix allege that the blood thinner caused excessive, uncontrolled bleeding, including gastrointestinal bleeding and brain hemorrhaging. Plaintiffs allege that BMS was aware of the risks of potentially serious, even deadly, adverse events, but failed to warn patients or the medical community. In addition, lawsuits allege that Plavix is comparable in effectiveness to aspirin but costs 100 times more.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is confronted with litigation from state governments in addition to the consumer lawsuits. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a Plavix lawsuit claiming that the company put patients at risk and misled taxpayers by misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of the anticoagulant. Aside from other issues, the lawsuit alleges that Plavix is not effective in a certain portion of the population. Balderas said, "Companies like this must be held accountable for deceiving the public and profiteering off of taxpayer monies and vulnerable New Mexicans who badly need safe, effective medical treatment."

Plavix Legal Background and Ongoing Issues

In 2014, a lawsuit was filed by Hawaii Attorney General David M. Louie alleging unfair labeling and marketing regarding Plavix. The lawsuit claims that Plavix makers failed to reveal that the drug is not effective in about 30 percent of the population. These people have a problem metabolizing Plavix due to genetic traits or other medications they may be taking. The lawsuits alleged that drug makers, "failed to disclose that negative efficacy information because it would adversely affect the number of Plavix prescriptions written and, thus, sales and revenues," and that companies "ignored, concealed and minimized clinical trial data and other information," showing that Plavix is no more effective than aspirin, reported Law360.

In addition, West Virginia filed a Plavix lawsuit, alleging that the price is 100 times the cost of aspirin without being more effective. A lawsuit in Mississippi alleges that Plavix manufacturers failed to disclose the drug’s side effects.

Legal Information and Advice for Plavix Users

If you or someone you know suffered bleeding complications involving the use of Plavix, you may have valuable legal rights. Parker Waichman LLP personal injury lawyers continue to offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact our attorneys at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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