Dora Mingo, a Mississippi resident, is seeking a retrial for her lawsuit against Bayer and J&J, makers of the blood thinner Xarelto, citing the findings of a recent study that was co-written by Bayer scientists.
Mingo claims she suffered from severe gastrointestinal bleeding as a result of Xarelto, a blood thinner, which she was prescribed in January 2015 by her GP, to treat a deep vein thrombosis.
The lawsuit went to trial on 7 August of this year in a Mississippi federal court. The jury deliberated for approximately four hours before returning with a verdict in favor of the manufacturers on the 18 August, 11 days after the trial started.
Last week Mingo asked for a retrial, claiming a study that was released just as her trial was drawing to a close directly contradicted a testimony given by the manufacturers in court. According to them the anticoagulant effects of the medication can’t be monitored with standard laboratory testing, however, the very same study proposed that a medical test known as PT Neoplastin can be used to detect excessive bleeding in patients taking the medication.
According to Mingo’s filing, the defendants were giving evidence in court that PT is useless, dangerous and meaningless while contradictory statements were made in medical journals. At the time of the trial, the evidence was unavailable, which meant the witnesses could not be cross-examined with regards to this.
Xarelto is a blood thinner that has been marketed by the manufacturers as an improvement on warfarin. Part of the campaign to promote Xarelto includes Bayer and J&J promising patients using the drug that they don’t need to undergo regular blood tests, a standard procedure for patients taking warfarin.
Currently, there are more than 18,500 lawsuits pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana in the US District Court. Claims involving the drug’s supposed potential to cause serious internal bleeding have been centralized before Judge Eldon Fallon.
Plaintiffs dispute the defendants’ claims that Xarelto offers any significant benefits over warfarin. Also, they point out that any internal bleeding associated with warfarin can be stopped by administering vitamin K. At the moment there is no approved antidote to reverse any internal bleeding that might occur with Xarelto.
They also allegedly claim patients taking the medication would benefit from regular blood tests even though the drug’s manufacturers claim it isn’t necessary.