According to reports published in the Calgary Sun, as of March 2015, Health Canada had received an estimated 1,100 adverse event reports from patients taking Xarelto. The article indicates that, according to a lawyer from Toronto, if the class action is successful, ...it would be in the millions of dollars. The Calgary Sun report also discussed the likely formation of another class action suit in Ontario at this time.
Xarelto (known generically as Rivaroxaban) is a new-generation anticoagulant, in a class of drugs known as direct thrombin inhibitors. It is a blood thinner used to reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes. Xarelto has also been marketed as being easier to use than warfarin (known by the brand name Coumadin), an older anticoagulant, because it does not require medical monitoring.
Xarelto has reportedly been linked to an increased risk of uncontrollable bleeding (hemorrhaging). A risk of hemorrhaging exists in many blood thinners; however, warfarin has an antidote in that can reduce the risk of uncontrollable hemorrhaging. Some newer blood thinners do not have an antidote. This means that injuries, including minor cuts or internal bleeding, can result in uncontrolled bleeding, which can be fatal.
This Canadian class action lawsuit closely follows the formation of Multidistrict Litigation number 2592 in the United States by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. This MDL consolidated and transferred over 2,800 lawsuits filed in reference to Xarelto by plaintiffs who allege much the same. These lawsuits are additionally joined by another group of 620 Xarelto lawsuits which have been formed into a mass tort program by the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lawsuits in these groupings have been filed against defendant Bayer AG as well as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subdivision of Johnson & Johnson corporation.
In the US, the FDA has given the blood thinner two black box warnings, which are the severest warnings a product can receive before it is removed from the market for public sale.
The plaintiff in the Canadian Xarelto class action is represented by Toronto lawyer Bryan McPhadden.