Pradaxa has been linked to over 1,000 deaths and is the subject of thousands of lawsuits. The lawsuits are overseen in federal court by a “Multi-District Litigation” (or “MDL”) in Illinois. According to a recent New York Times article, e-mails and memos revealed by those lawsuits discussed whether an internal report on scientific research would undercut the manufacturer’s claim that using the drug does not require regular blood tests. The manufacturer of Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim, has been in a race to capture market share from warafin, which requires frequent blood testing, do Pradaxa’s “no blood testing” claim is a big selling point. Pradaxa has garnered more than $2 billion in sales in the U.S. since 2010. So it should come as little surprise that the manufacturers “were so worried that an internal research paper would damage drug sales that some employees not only pressured the author to revise it, but suggested it should be quashed altogether, according to newly unsealed legal documents.”
Our system of justice may not be perfect, but here is one more example where trial lawyers standing up for the rights of consumers forced a company to reveal what was really going on. Little did we know that the doctors in charge of drug safety have a vested financial interest in the outcome of their research and would consider suppressing their findings just to turn a buck… or a billion bucks.