Bayer and Johnson and Johnson (J&J) have agreed to resolve virtually all the lawsuits filed in the US over their blood thinning medication Xarelto for a total of $775m.
The companies will equally share the settlement amount, according to the agreement between plaintiff lawyer leadership and Bayer Healthcare and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a J&J subsidiary.
More than 25,000 lawsuits, which were commenced more than five years ago, alleged that Xarelto resulted in serious side effects such as internal bleeding, stroke and death in patients who took the drug.
The plaintiffs claimed that the companies downplayed the risks associated with the blood thinner and aggressively marketed it as an alternative for warfarin.
Beasley Allen law firm, which co-led the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, also noted that the allegations involve incomplete information provided to doctors and patients regarding the risks that led to life-threatening complications.
Beasley Allen mass torts section head Andy Birchfield said: “This is a fair and just resolution for thousands of consumers who have substantial claims.”
However, Bayer noted that the settlement does not indicate admission of liability.
A statement from the German pharmaceutical company read: “Bayer continues to believe these claims are without merit and there is no admission of liability under the agreement. However, this favourable settlement allows the company to avoid the distraction and significant cost of continued litigation.
“The safety profile of Xarelto remains positive and unchanged as confirmed time and again by regulatory agencies worldwide.”
Bayer expects its share of the settlement amount to be partially offset by product liability insurance.
Announcing the settlement, Janssen said: “From the outset of the litigation, we have defended ourselves – and we have been successful. All six cases that proceeded through trial were decided in our favour.
“Now, we have reached a settlement without any admission of liability, which will end significant Xarelto litigation activity in the US.”
The companies hold the right to withdraw from the settlement in case certain participation rates of the eligible parties are not satisfied.
Reuters added that J&J recorded $2.47bn in Xarelto sales last year.