May 28 German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim
said it would pay about $650 million to settle U.S. lawsuits
that claimed the company's blockbuster blood thinner Pradaxa had
caused severe and fatal bleeding in patients.
Boehringer said it expected to resolve about 4,000 claims
with the settlement. The claimants had accused the company of
not issuing sufficient warnings of the risks associated with
While Boehringer did not disclose if the settlement included
any admission of guilt by the company, it said the deal would
allow it to avoid the distraction and uncertainty of a lengthy
"BI stands resolutely behind Pradaxa and believed from the
outset that the plaintiffs' claims lacked merit," said Desiree
Ralls-Morrison, senior vice president and general counsel,
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp.
Pradaxa belongs to a promising new class of medicines
designed to replace decades-old warfarin in preventing strokes
in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation, a form of
irregular heartbeat common among the elderly.
The drug, which competes with Bayer and Johnson &
Johnson's Xarelto as well as Bristol Myers-Squibb
and Pfizer's Eliquis, saw annual sales of about
1.2 billion euros ($1.63 billion) in 2013.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)