Millions around the country take the anti-stroke drug every day, and almost 550 deaths associated with Pradaxa were reported last year to the Food and Drug Administration. The issue continues to make headlines as more tragic stories come to light.
After negative reports began surfacing, physicians and advocates opened fire on Boehringer. Taking the drug, those advocates argue, could lead to serious harm — specifically internal bleeding and hemorrhaging — and they claim Boehringer did not adequately inform the public of its potential ill effects, The Tennessean reported .
Pradaxa prevents unwanted blood clots. Because of this, it makes it easier for people to bleed and potentially incur severe blood loss upon injury. Pradaxa was initially heralded as a welcome change from warfarin, a decades-old alternative for stroke prevention.
Some legal officials expect there to be 1,000 or more lawsuits regarding Pradaxa by next year.
Boehringer spent $464 million in 2011 to promote Pradaxa, and the drug has since made more than $1 billion. Boehringer is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.