Plavix Lawsuits Allege Drug Caused Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Fatal Cerebral Hemorrhage

Three lawsuits have been filed in a New York state court representing three victims of severe bleeding blamed on the blood thinning drug Plavix.

According to a release from the law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, one of the lawsuits has been filed on behalf of a man who suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage while being prescribed Plavix. The firm has filed its lawsuits on behalf of the Plavix bleeding victims in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

The firm is representing two Ohio men who suffered gastrointestinal hemorrhages as a result of taking Plavix. The third suit is filed on behalf of a Washington state man who died from complications related to the cerebral bleeding. Combined, the lawsuits claim taking Plavix put them at a greater risk of suffering life-threatening bleeding episodes, heart attacks, strokes, and death. They claim the makers of Plavix, both Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb hid knowledge that its drug increased the risk of these side effects. Further, they claim the drug makers falsely represented the safety of Plavix by saying it had endured testing proving that it was a safe and effective drug treatment in the prevention of heart attacks and stroke caused by blood clots.

Plavix sales – which topped-out at $3.8 billion in 2005 – have been buoyed by the accepted notion that it, combined with common aspirin, acted as a sort of “super aspirin” in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb claim Plavix is more effective than aspirin at preventing heart attacks and strokes but for more than a decade, that claim has been doubted by many, including the Food and Drug Administration. Millions have been prescribed Plavix under this notion but numerous studies now refute that claim, proving Plavix and aspirin provide no additional benefits and actually increases the risk of these potentially life-threatening side effects.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine backed the skeptical thinking, indicating that Plavix increased the risk of severe gastrointestinal or cerebral hemorrhaging by 12 times over traditional aspirin, and that the drug was not an effective treatment in the prevention of heart disease.

Plavix has been linked, in addition to the side effects noted, to an increased risk of bone marrow damage, bleeding ulcers and a rare blood disease known as Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP). TTP is marked by the development of small blood clots through the body. Some of these clots could eventually block flow to vital organs like the heart, brain, or kidneys, leading to organ damage, failure or death.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuits charge the drug makers with Negligence; Strict Products Liability, including Defective Design, Manufacturing Defect, and Failure to Warn; Breach of Express and Implied Warranties; Fraudulent Misrepresentation; Fraudulent Concealment; Negligent Misrepresentation; Fraud and Deceit; and Consumer Fraud under New York State’s General Business Law, according to a press release announcing the lawsuit. They seek punitive, compensatory and exemplary damages from the drug companies, including attorney fees and legal costs

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