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As more and more lawsuits against Xarelto start to be filed there is news that two separate courts in the United States have chosen to consolidate groups of Xarelto lawsuits together.

A majority of the lawsuits claim that the anticoagulant has caused major side effects in patients, sometimes leading to death. The drug first became available on the market in 2011 and the first cases were filed against the makers in 2014.

In the time between the drug’s release and the first lawsuits against the medication’s makers, Xarelto grew in popularity amongst healthcare providers and patients. One of the reasons for this was that Xarelto (also known as rivaroxaban) was said to be a “one-size-fits-all” type of drug. It apparently didn’t require the strict guidelines – essentially blood tests and nutritional restrictions – older drugs like warfarin did. It was essentially touted as a superior product to warfarin, which has been used for years in similar medical situations. The drug was also being looked at for other uses, before being rejected by the FDA.

The consolidation first happened in December of 2014 when a judicial panel transferred cases in Louisiana federal court. Although Bayer and Janssen claimed there were not enough similarities between the cases to warrant the order, the panel disagreed and went ahead. They did, however, recognize that a number of “individualized factual issues” did exist in each case.

The cases were combined into Multidistrict Litigation or MDL. The Xarelto MDL is not like a class action lawsuit because each case will still be considered individually. Some of the claims in the filings state that Xarelto did not have an adequate warning label on the box, and that the drug companies did not adequately warn patients of the risks (like uncontrollable bleeding and sudden death). Some also question the clinical trials held for the drug’s safety.

After the initial consolidation order was given Judge K.M. Dougherty of Philadelphia transferred approximately 80 cases to the Xarelto Mass Tort program. It is intended to make the entire process more efficient.