Plavix has started to appear in the news again. Word about Plavix lawsuits—as happens with many pharma tort cases—had died downed within a few weeks of the FDA’s announcement that it would place a black box warning on Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate). That black box label change happened back in March, 2010—so for many, the statute of limitations for filing a Plavix lawsuit will be up as we approach April 2012—and that’s not as far away as it might seem.
Plavix, which is prescribed for patients at higher risk for heart attack or stroke, is an anti-platelet drug that works by helping to prevent blood from forming clots.
The issue with Plavix—and the reason for the black box warning—is that some patients are not able to metabolize the drug effectively once it’s in their system. The result is that the drug’s effectiveness is reduced. Which, for a person who may be prone to heart attack or stroke, could perhaps be life-threatening.
The patients identified as those at risk for lower metabolization of Plavix are those with an abnormal CYP2C19 genotype—those known as “poor metabolizers”; CYP2C19 is the drug-metabolizing enzyme that serves as the body’s catalyst to convert Plavix to its active (and effective) form.
Reports have indicated that potentially 2 to 14 percent of the population are “poor metabolizers”. Read the rest of this entry »