The companies behind Xarelto doled out big money to physicians last year as part of their efforts to promote use of the controversial blood thinner. According to ProPublica, these “general payments” came to roughly $28.4 million in 2015, placing Xarelto at the top of its “Dollars for Docs” list that year.

General payments include monies paid to doctors for promotional speaking, consulting, meals, travel, gifts and royalties. They do not include payments for research. Other drugs toping ProPublica’s 2015 list included:

  • Humira ($24.9 million)
  • Invokana ($20.9 million)
  • Viekira ($19.2 million)
  • Eliquis ($18.8 million)
  • Bydureon ($18.5 million)
  • Androgel ($15.3 million)
  • Synthroid ($14.7 million)
  • Lupron ($14.3 million)
  • Victoza ($11.9 million)

While the pharmaceutical industry insists this big money has no impact on physician prescribing practices, ProPublica suggests otherwise.

“Combining previous payment data with prescribing data from the federal Medicare program, we’ve shown that physicians who receive payments from the industry tend to prescribe more brand-name drugs than those who don’t,” investigators wrote. “Several academic studies later had similar findings.”

Xarelto Bleeding Lawsuits

ProPublica’s findings were published as more than 11,000 Xarelto lawsuits move forward in a federal multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. All of the cases pending in the proceeding were filed on behalf of patients who suffered dangerous episodes of internal bleeding and related complications allegedly related to their use of medication. Plaintiffs claim that that the drug’s manufacturers failed to provide adequate warnings about its risks, and wrongly marketed Xarelto as a superior alternative to a much-older blood thinner called warfarin. Among other things, their filings point out that hemorrhaging caused by warfarin can be stopped via the administration of vitamin K. However, there is currently no approved antidote to reverse Xarelto bleeding side effects.

Xarelto was launched on the U.S. market in 2011 by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. U.S. sales of the drug hit $549 million in the second quarter of 2016, making Xarelto one of Johnson & Johnson’s best-performing medications. However, it has faced growing competition from Eliquis, a blood thinner marketed by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Xarelto Legal Reviews

Patients who allegedly  suffered serious injury due to a Xarelto bleeding event may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other damages. To learn more about filing a Xarelto lawsuit, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP by call 877-779-1414.

Published December 19, 2016 by