Opening a new front in the mass tort litigation wars, plaintiffs’ attorneys launched an aggressive advertising campaign targeting the blood thinner drug Xarelto in July -- increasing their total monthly ad spending by nearly $1.2 million to air over 1,800 ads.
The advertising blitz follows reports from earlier this summer that the blood thinner, sold by Johnson & Johnson in the United States and Bayer in Europe, was facing its first lawsuits in the US. A case filed in February in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas alleges that the drug caused severe internal bleeding.
The Xarelto advertising also began shortly after the announcement in late May that Boehringer Ingelheim would pay about $650 million to settle thousands of lawsuits involving its blood thinner, Pradaxa.
Of the estimated $1.2 million spent on Xarelto ads in July, nearly 90% was devoted to ads on national broadcast and cable channels such as NBC, the CW network, and WGN America.
However, just over three quarters of the ads aired on local television stations across the country where advertising time is less expensive.
The Kansas-based firm of Goza Honnold spent the most on Xarelto mass tort ads with the purchase of over $450,000 worth of ads with the bulk of its spending devoted to ads airing on national networks.
The West Virginia firm of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Beitzler aired the most ad spots by broadcasting 635 spots in July in local West Virginia media markets Charleston and Parkersburg.
Xarelto is Bayer’s top-selling drug and generated $847 million in sales for Johnson and Johnson in 2013, according to Bloomberg.