The results of the long-awaited Canadian study on the anti-bleeding drug Trasylol were announced today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers found that patients who were given Trasylol, known generically as aprotinin, had a 53 percent higher death rate than patients who were given comparable drugs.
In an editorial that accompanied the BART study, Dr. Wayne Ray and Dr. Michael Stein of Vanderbilt University wrote:
“Thus, in all likelihood, this is the end of the aprotinin story.”
Trasylol is made by Bayer. On Jan. 20, 2006, an article suggesting a link between Trasylol and renal toxicity was published in the medical journal Transfusion. Later that same month, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article, co-authored by Dr. Dennis Mangano of the nonprofit Ischemia Research and Education Foundation, linking Trasylol to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.
In the fall of 2006, an FDA advisory board met to decide whether the warning on Trasylol needed to be changed. At the meeting, Bayer failed to disclose the findings of a Trasylol study it had funded. In that study, Dr. Alexander Walker—a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health—reviewed the hospital records of 67,000 patients and found that those given Trasylol had a risk of death 64 percent higher than that of patients who received a comparison drug. It wasn’t until November 2007 that the drug was finally pulled from the market.
The BART study is significant because it was designed as a side-by-side comparison of aprotinin with two other drugs, tranexamic acid sold under the brand name Cyklokapron and aminocaproic acid, sold under the brand name Amicar.
Not only are the comparison drugs safer, they’re much cheaper. According to an article in Reuters, a Trasylol treatment costs between $1,200 and $1,500. The other two drugs cost about $150.
My law firm currently represents several Trasylol victims and their families in lawsuits against Bayer. The lawyers of Carey, Danis & Lowe are experienced in helping people injured by Trasylol. We will seek compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future wages, pain and suffering, disability and other damages. We also represent family members in wrongful death cases.
We offer a free initial consultation for victims harmed pharmaceutical products. If you cannot make it to our office, we will come to you at the hospital or your home.