Lawsuit Claims Blood Thinning Drug, Plavix®, Poses Serious Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, Blood Disorders and Death
Drug Company Allegedly Had Advance Warning of Health Hazards, Failed to Alert Public
SAN FRANCISCO– LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs –A class action lawsuit has been filed by Hersh & Hersh, Miller & Associates and Whatley Drake & Kallas, LLC against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, a French pharmaceutical company partnering with Bristol-Myers to manufacture and market Plavix®. According to the suit, the companies are being sued for selling the popular anti-coagulant drug, Plavix®, even though they knew the drug posed a serious risk of heart attack, stroke, serious blood disorders and death. Plavix® is the sixth top selling drug in the United States with sales totaling $3.8 billion dollars.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of Bristol-Myers CEO Peter Dolan being forced from his job at the recommendation of the company’s federal court monitor in early September, becoming the third top executive in the drug industry to be forced out since last year due to issues regarding the Plavix® patent.
Although approved by the FDA, Plavix® has been found to nearly double the risk of a first heart attack or stroke in patients with high cholesterol or high blood pressure. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2006, found that “although doctors believe the combination of Plavix® and aspirin should reduce the risk of a second heart attack, the combination not only does not help, but it nearly doubles the risk of death, heart attack or stroke in people with no history of heart disease. It was also found to be associated with increased risk for moderate and severe bleeding.”
The lawsuit was filed by law firms Hersh & Hersh, Miller & Associates and Whatley Drake & Kallas, LLC on behalf of third party payer, claiming that the Defendants rushed the drug to market and then launched an aggressive marketing campaign touting Plavix® as providing greater cardiovascular benefits than aspirin, while being safer and easier on a person’s stomach. According to the suit, those assertions are not only false, but the Company knew about the serious health complications from the use of Plavix® from its own studies and had been warned by the FDA repeatedly to stop its fraudulent advertising. The company did not stop its misleading advertising, nor did it alert the public to the life threatening side effects of Plavix®, the suit alleges.
“This is a clear example of a pharmaceutical company putting profits before people,” said Nancy Hersh, Principle, Hersh and Hersh. “Bristol-Myers Squibb withheld information, misled the public and ignored warnings from the FDA, all to increase profits. They should be held accountable.”
The lawsuit also names Sanofi-Synthelabo, a Delaware-based corporation and affiliate of Sanofi-Aventis that was instrumental in bringing Plavix® to market.
For more information, please contact Charles Kelly @ Hersh & Hersh, 415-441-5544 or Severn Williams 510-336-9566.