People who took Xeljanz or Xeljanz XR for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or ulcerative colitis and suffered blood clots may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Pfizer Inc. Lawyers began accepting cases after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that a safety trial found an increased risk of blood clots in the lungs and death in people who took a higher dose of the drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Lawyers are currently accepting cases from rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis patients who took Xeljanz or Xeljanz XR and suffered a blood clot in the legs, thigh or pelvis, or in the lungs. The medical term for blood clots in the lungs is pulmonary embolism, or PE. Doctors refer to the other type of clots as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first approved Xeljanz in 2012 to treat moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. It later approved the drug for ulcerative colitis and psoriatic arthritis.
The drug has been on the market for years, but in February 2019, the FDA released a safety alert about an increased risk of blood clots and death. The agency has since approved a black box warning about the risks.
According to the Xeljanz website, about 132,000 Americans were prescribed the drug between January 2013 and July 2018 to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Many more patients may have been prescribed the medication it to treat ulcerative colitis or psoriatic arthritis. Pfizer reported it made about $1.7 billion off the drug in 2018.
Injury Claims: Blood Clots
After the FDA announced an increased risk of clots with Xeljanz, lawyers began accepting cases on behalf of people who took the drug and suffered from two kinds of blood clots: pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis.
Between 2013 and 2018, the FDA received reports of 52 DVTs and 79 PEs in patients who took Xeljanz, according to the FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS) Public Dashboard. Patients in 15 of the cases died.
The limitation of FAERS is that data is self-reported, and there is no way to verify these results. There may also be more cases than were reported.