Last night’s ABC news bulletin had a story from Health Reporter, Sophie Scott, concerning her investigation, into the link between the prescription of the new type of blood thinning medications such Xarelto, Eliquis and Pradaxa and the marketing activities of drug companies.
The investigation found that since 2011 there has been a large rise in the amount of the new type of blood thinning medication which has been prescribed to patients. The investigation also revealed that drug companies have funded costly, educational marketing events promoting these drugs. Ms Scott’s investigation queried the correlation between the increased prescription rate of these new blood thinning drugs and large drug company marketing budgets.
Concerns were voiced by the scientific community that the newer blood thinning medications are being prescribed to younger, lower risk patients. Some of the newer, blood thinning, drugs are problematic. One issue is that, Xarelto and Eliquis do not respond to antidotes which stop bleeding, unlike the older style blood thinners such as warfarin.
No drugs are without risk and it is of concern that people are being exposed, perhaps unnecessarily, to health risks, such as bruising, numbness, muscle pain, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and the more catastrophic risk of uncontrollable bleeding.
These concerns were compounded with the news this morning of changes to the guidelines, which will mean that drug companies will be no longer be required to declare how much they have spent on educational events promoting their products.
If you have suffered an adverse outcome associated with your blood thinning medication, get in touch with our experienced Health Law Team to discuss your legal options.