Newly Released Pradaxa Documents Show Employees Concern
Pradaxa, a popular blood thinning medication, has been under fire recently. Though Pradaxa is a popular drug, it caused fatal internal bleeding in some patients and has been linked to over 1,000 patient deaths.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed regarding Pradaxa and the company that manufactures the drug, Boehringer Ingelheim. The lawsuits claim that the drug company didn’t properly warn the public about the serious risks associated with the drug. However, this is not the reason Pradaxa has made recent headlines. There is a new development to the story.
One of the reasons for Pradaxa’s popularity is its claim that it is a more convenient drug for patients than its predecessor, warfarin. With warfarin, patients are required to eat a restricted diet and have frequent, inconvenient blood tests to track the drug’s efficacy and impact on the body. With Pradaxa, according to Boehringer Ingelheim’s marketing campaign, those inconveniences are eliminated.
However, several internal documents were unsealed and made public by one of the judges handling these lawsuits. The documents include an internal research paper, the draft and the final product, emails between doctors, and employee emails. The research paper, accredited to Paul A. Reilly, a clinical program director within Boehringer Ingelheim, concluded that because patients metabolize the drug at different rates, it would be beneficial for some patients to have regular checkups to monitor the drug. This report undercuts the idea of Pradaxa as the better, more convenient blood thinning drug of choice. In fact, in one of the unsealed emails, Dr. Jutta Heinrich-Nots, a company supervisor, wrote, “This will make any defense of no monitoring…extremely difficult…and undermine our efforts to compete…” of the research paper’s conclusion. Dr. Heinrich-Nots is not alone in her concern, as shown in several other unsealed internal documents. The release of this research paper could have a severe affect on the amount of revenue the popular drug brings into the company. Since 2010, Pradaxa is responsible for over $2 billion in sales in the United States alone.
When the draft of the paper and the final, published article are compared, though the majority of the ideas within the paper are the same, there is a noticeable withdrawal of any reference to the amount of Pradaxa in the patients’ blood. The research article indicates Pradaxa isn’t the most convenient, “one size fits all” drug it has been marketed as. In fact, it shows that each patient metabolizes Pradaxa at different rates, requiring some patients to have more check-ups and blood tests. According to several emails, many employees wondered if publishing an article that contradicted their “one size fits all” marketing was the best idea for the company and tried to suppress the article’s release.
To read the research paper, draft and final article, along with several internal employee emails discussing the severe monetary repercussions, click here.
If you or someone you love has been affected by Pradaxa, learn more about your rights. Please contact us online or call us today at (800) 674-9725. Each consultation with an attorney is completely free and confidential.