Two pharmaceutical giants agreed on Monday to settle more than 25,000 lawsuits in the United States in which plaintiffs alleged injuries and death due to taking prescription blood thinner Xarelto. According to Reuters, drug makers Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson, the two companies that jointly developed the medication, have agreed to settle with plaintiffs for a total of $775 million. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies do not admit liability.
Plaintiffs in the case alleged that Bayer and Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn of risks associated with taking the anti-coagulant drug, which is prescribed to prevent and treat blood clots, as well as to possibly lower the risk of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, and stroke. The plaintiffs’ allegations include that patients taking Xarelto experienced unstoppable bleeding, which led to other severe conditions including fatalities. The pharma giants say these claims are without merit, and in a statement, Bayer said that the “settlement allows the company to avoid the distraction and significant cost of continued litigation.” Some of Bayer’s settlement costs will be offset by liability insurance, according to Reuters.
Xarelto earned (jnj) JNJ $2.47 billion in 2018 alone and has been (bayer-ag) Bayer’s best-selling drug for many years now. A prescription for Xarelto typically costs between $450 and $540 a month. In February, Xarelto was also slated to be the first of Johnson & Johnson’s prescription drugs to be advertised in television commercials.