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Boehringer Ingelheim Fined Nearly $1M for Withholding Pradaxa Files

Filed December 12th, 2013 Eric

German drug maker, Boehringer Ingelheim, must pay nearly $1 million for withholding or destroying countless files requested by patients suing over the company’s blood thinner Pradaxa, a judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge David Herndon, who is overseeing more than 1,700 consolidated lawsuits over allegations that Pradaxa caused excessive and even fatal bleeding, ruled that Boehringer executives acted improperly by failing to preserve all documents and files associated with the drug’s development and marketing, Bloomberg News reported. Judge Herndon called the wrongs “egregious” and said that “the gross inadequacy” of the company’s efforts to keep the documents safe justified a fine of more than $931,000 against Boehringer, according to Bloomberg News. The judge also ordered the company to turn over files requested by the defendants. If the company is unable to do so, then the judge may consider additional fines.

This is just the start of legal trouble for Boehringer. The company is getting ready to take on the first federal court trial over claims that it hid the bleeding risks associated with Pradaxa. Patients and their families allege that Boehringer executives were aware of the deadly bleeding prior to the company bringing it to the United States market in October 2010.

Plaintiffs also allege that Boehringer officials marketed the drug as superior to existing blood thinners despite having no evidence to support such claims. Pradaxa has been connected to more than 500 U.S. deaths over a two-year span, Bloomberg News reported.

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