(Adds comment from plaintiffs' lawyer and company's denial of
May 28 German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim
said on Wednesday 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 denied liability, 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.
A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Mikal Watts, said he was
hopeful that claimants would receive compensation within a year
as lawyers move to implement the settlement. The amount each
individual receives will vary depending on the severity and
nature of the alleged injury, he added.
"I think it's a good settlement for a lot of people that
need help," Watts said. "I congratulate the company on doing the
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 AG and
Johnson & Johnson's Xarelto as well as Bristol
Myers-Squibb Co and Pfizer Inc's Eliquis, had
annual sales of about 1.2 billion euros ($1.63 billion) in 2013.
($1 = 0.7345 euro)
(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore and Jessica Dye in New
York; editing by Simon Jennings and Matthew Lewis)