pennsylvania womans pradaxa death prompts suit

Scores of Americans die or become sickened by medications every year, even though our nation ostensibly conducts exacting tests to ensure drug safety. One of these cases involved the tragic death of a Pennsylvania woman after she took the prescribed drug Pradaxa in 2012. Now the woman’s two daughters are seeking financial compensation for wrongful death in the case, alleging that the product was faulty and ultimately caused their mother’s demise.

The manufacturer of Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, is accused of over-promoting the circulatory drug, which is designed to reduce the risk of stroke and embolism. The woman in this case suffered from a condition that could have increased her blood clotting risk. The wrongful death suit alleges that the company did not provide adequate warnings about these dangers.

Reports show that the woman was prescribed Pradaxa four months before suffering a fatal gastrointestinal hemorrhage in 2012. The drug was prescribed to treat the woman’s non-valvular atrial fibrillation, according to medical documents. She was transported to a hospital at the University of Pennsylvania after undergoing initial treatment in Haverford. The lawsuit claims that the Pradaxa worsened — or perhaps even caused — the excessive bleeding that ultimately led to her death.

Pradaxa is one of the few anticoagulants approved in the past decades, with patients traditionally relying on warfarin to lessen the likelihood of stroke and other clotting disorders. The suit claims that the company oversold Pradaxa’s effectiveness, and that the drug information does not indicate that there is no way to stop the excessive bleeding that can be caused by its use.

The woman’s daughters say she never would have taken the medication if she had truly understood the risk. They are seeking some $75,000 in compensatory damages, along with attorneys’ fees and unspecified punitive damages.

All patients deserve to know exactly what they are putting in their bodies. If Pradaxa’s creator did not properly disclose that information, it should be legally responsible for the result.

Source: pennrecord.com, “Daughters of deceased Pa. woman sue over mother’s alleged Pradaxa related death” Jon Campisi, Nov. 11, 2013

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