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J&J, Bayer to pay $775M to settle US lawsuits over blood thinner Xarelto

Johnson & Johnson and Bayer AG agreed to pay about $775 million to settle almost all of the approximately 25,000 suits in the U.S. related to their blockbuster blood-thinning drug Xarelto.

The settlement amount will be equally shared by the two companies.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit had alleged that the drug caused uncontrollable and irreversible bleeding that led to injuries and even deaths. The companies were accused of not making patients and doctors aware of any bleeding risks related to the drug, Reuters reported.

Bayer said in a March 25 press release that the claims are without merit and there is no admission of liability under the agreement. The company said the settlement will allow it to avoid distraction and the significant cost of continued litigation.

Bayer added that the safety profile of the medicine remains positive and unchanged and that its share of the settlement will be partially covered by product liability insurance.

J&J said in a statement that the settlement was the right move and that the company continues to stand by the safety profile of the drug, Reuters reported.

Xarelto, jointly developed by New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson and Germany-based Bayer, generated sales of about €3.63 billion for Bayer and about $2.48 billion for J&J in 2018.

J&J sells the medicine in the U.S., while Bayer sells it worldwide.