Eliquis is an anti-coagulant, or blood thinner prescribed to ward against stroke and systemic embolisms in patients who suffer from non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Eliquis is also prescribed for patients who have had hip, or knee replacement procedures and is used to prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
There have been various issues with Eliquis that have preceded the Hancock lawsuit, which was filed in August of last year in New York. According to court documents, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) delayed the approval of Eliquis in 2012 over the need to dig deeper into the quality of data from the drug’s clinical trials – including the number of patients who may have received the wrong treatment.
The manufacturers had also attempted to have Eliquis expanded for high-risk cardiac patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome, but found it necessary to drop those petitions for approval when excessive bleeding was noted in the clinical trials, without any clear benefit for Eliquis use.
The Hancocks, in their $10 million lawsuit, allege Eliquis placed the plaintiff in dire straits due to excessive bleeding. Rhonda Hancock alleges she was permanently injured from Eliquis blood thinner side effects that were ill-reported by the manufacturers of apixaban, while Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Pfizer continued to aggressively promote and market the blood thinner in spite of knowledge that Eliquis side effects could be fatal.
“These representations were made by defendants with the intent of defrauding and deceiving plaintiff, the public in general, and the medical and healthcare community in particular, and were made with the intent of inducing the public in general, and the medical community in particular, to recommend, dispense and/or purchase Eliquis…all of which evinced a callous, reckless, willful, depraved indifference to health, safety and welfare of the plaintiff herein,” the complaint states.
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Meanwhile, in early February the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) approved a consolidation of all federal cases in the Southern District of New York (In Re: Eliquis (apixaban) Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2754).
The Hancock lawsuit is Rhonda Hancock and James Hancock v. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Inc., Case No: 156761/2016, in the Supreme Court of State of New York, County of New York.