J&J, Bayer prevail in bellwether Xarelto trial

The first trial over blockbuster Xarelto’s bleeding risks has swung in Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s favor as a New Orleans jury decided on Wednesday the Big Pharma companies didn’t fail to warn a prescribing physician about bleeding risks.

After a trial that just kicked off just last week, a federal jury answered “no” when asked whether the companies failed to provide a physician with adequate prescribing information for Xarelto.

Plaintiff Joseph Boudreaux brought the case against the drug companies, the first of an estimated 18,000 over Xarelto’s bleeding risks, claiming the next-gen anticoagulant caused internal bleeding, heart problems and a weeklong ICU visit.

In an emailed statement, Janssen spokesperson William Foster said the Wednesday decision “reflects the facts of this case and the appropriateness” of Xarelto’s prescribing information.

RELATED: J&J, Bayer face first jury trial over blockbuster Xarelto's bleeding risks

For their part, Boudreaux’s attorneys said in a statement that they are “disappointed” with the outcome. They added that they’ll “learn from the experience of this trial, and continue to press forward with the legal claims of thousands of innocent victims whose lives have been shattered by Xarelto.”

During the trial, witnesses for the plaintiffs testified that the companies failed to disclose that a lab test could predict which patients might experience excessive bleeding. Defense witnesses countered that the test is unreliable.

The case in New Orleans was a so-called bellwether trial over Xarelto risks as a backlog of other claims has mounted. Going forward, the jury’s decision could significantly alter the decision on whether the sides choose to settle.

Still, the plaintiff’s attorneys are steadfast in their claims, stating that "the manufacturers of Xarelto owe it to the medical community and patients to fully disclose the risks posed by this drug and to encourage use of a simple test to predict and identify patients that are most likely to suffer serious bleeding.”