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Pradaxa Caused More Than 500 Patient Deaths in 2011

According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, there are reports that Pradaxa, a medication used to prevent strokes, caused more than 500 patient deaths in 2011. That's significantly more deaths than Pradaxa's rival warfarin, which has been on the market for more than 50 years.

Already, lawsuits have been filed, according to Ransdell Pierson of Reuters, which allege products liability claims for defective drugs.

The problem is that Pradaxa is the new kid on the block - it's simply not well understood by doctors. It's not well understood by patients. Disturbingly, this seems to be okay with drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim, which said, "Research has shown that the number of reported adverse events for a drug peaks during its first few years on the market."

In other words, all these deaths may have been an expected cost of doing business as a pharmaceutical company in the marketplace - costs that are now coming in the form of lawsuits. The picture gets worse when you consider that Pradaxa has been heavily promoted by its maker, despite the unknowns associated with Pradaxa as compared to rival warfarin.

Source: Insight: Top heart doctors fret over new blood thinners

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