Xarelto is a blood-thinning drug approved to treat people with potential clotting problems, namely those at risk of — or those who’ve already had — a heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation, or other problems.
It’s manufactured by Bayer and marketed by Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson company, and one of their best-selling drugs — namely as doctors recommend more aging Baby Boomers regularly take blood thinners.
It’s even set to be used as a litmus test for listing drug prices in advertisements, which have featured celebrities like golfing and beverage legend Arnold Palmer, comedian and actor Kevin Nealon, NBA all-star Chris Bosh, and NASCAR champion Brian Vickers.
Xarelto was sold on safety and convenience, as it required fewer tests and was less likely to have adverse reactions with other drugs and food, according to Harvard Health.
Its main advantage was that tests suggested it was safer than the generic warfarin, namely there was a lowered risk of stroke or uncontrollable bleeding.
But safety concerns are the center of a large settlement regarding tens of thousands of lawsuits that claimed Bayer and Johnson & Johnson didn’t adequately warn patients of a serious side effect: bleeding.