Boehringer Ingelheim Pradaxa
As a manufacturer of several popular prescription and over-the-counter medical products, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the largest research-driven pharmaceutical companies. Boehringer Ingelheim employs more than 47,700 people and has 146 affiliates worldwide. In May, 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim settled approximately 4,000 pending lawsuits against the company and agreed to pay out $650 million to plaintiffs. Despite the financial losses, Boehringer Ingelheim reported net sales of more than €13,317 million the same year. Additional lawsuits are pending.
A History of Boehringer Ingelheim & Pradaxa
Boehringer Ingelheim has grown consistently since its founding in 1885 in Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Boehringer Ingelheim launched more than fifteen new drugs in just a fifteen-year timespan.
Approved by the FDA in October, 2010, Pradaxa is one of Boehringer Ingelheim’s bestselling prescription drugs. Pradaxa is an anticoagulant, commonly referred to as a blood thinner, that is used to treat atrial fibrillation. Pradaxa works by inhibiting a clotting enzyme called thrombin, thereby reducing the body’s ability to form clots and lessening the risk of stroke. Like the popular blood thinner Actos, Pradaxa does not have an antidote if a patient experiences uncontrolled bleeding while taking it. In 2011, 540 patients taking Pradaxa died from uncontrolled bleeding episodes.
Reports of gastrointestinal, rectal, and brain bleeding in patients taking Pradaxa have continued, culminating with the 2014 multidistrict litigation against Boehringer Ingelheim that resulted in the company’s $650 million settlement. Plaintiffs claimed that Boehringer Ingelheim failed to adequately warn patients about the drug’s risks and did not clearly convey dosing information on the medication labels. They also claimed that Boehringer Ingelheim failed to establish a protocol treatment for patients who experience several bleeding as a direct result of taking Pradaxa.
Despite more than 4,000 plaintiffs and the $650 million settlement, the company claims no wrongdoing. Andreas Neumann, head of Boehringer Ingelheim’s legal department, has stated, “We continue to stand resolutely behind Pradaxa and believed from the outset that the plaintiffs’ claims lacked any merit.”
Boehringer Ingelheim Product Line Up
In addition to several prescription medications, Boehringer Ingelheim manufactures nine over-the-counter products:
Driven by its research, Boehringer Ingelheim is still testing more than 100 new pharmaceutical and medical products at three major research centers in Germany, Austria, and the U.S. The company’s research focuses on:
- Cardiometabolic Illnesses
- Central Nervous System Diseases
- Immunology and Respiratory Diseases
Have you experienced adverse reactions while using Pradaxa?
More than 4,000 people who suffered damaging side effects from the blood thinner Pradaxa – including gastrointestinal, rectal and brain bleeding – filed lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Because Pradaxa was marketed heavily as safe and effective, doctors wrote millions of prescriptions for the new blood thinner after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in October 2010.