Patients that suffer from Atrial Fibrillation are at an increased risk of stroke. While there are many different drugs on the market that are prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke;
one of the most popular dugs is Pradaxa,a prescription blood-thinning medicine used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation.
Prior to Pradaxa the drug of choice was Wafarin. However, warfarin(unlike Pradaxa) requires frequent blood tests and careful attention to diet and other drugs. Thus, a race was on for Pradaxa and two other recently approved drugs, Xarelto and Eliquis, to gain market share from warfarin. Then, a strange thing happened along the way, people starting dying from bleeding complications. To that end more than 1,000 deaths have been linked to Pradaxa.
Thus the question remains whether Pradaxa does or does not require regular blood tests to ensure it is working. As reported by The New York Times the issue has been hotly debated among heart and stroke specialists, in part because not all people — especially older patients — metabolize the drug the same way, and because there are fewer dose options as well as no tests available for Pradaxa in the United States to monitor those who might be most at risk.
While there are lawsuits pending against Pradaxa, the question from a Medical Malpractice standpoint is whether doctor’s can be help responsible for prescribing Pradaxa. Given the recent data, I would say the answer is yes.