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After more than five years of litigation, Bayer (BAYRY) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) agreed to pay $775 million to settle about 25,000 lawsuits over claims they failed to warn about side effects associated with the Xarelto blood thinner, which the companies jointly market.

The settlement, which will be split evenly between the drug makers, resolves both federal and state cases that alleged the companies downplayed potentially fatal risks of internal bleeding and aggressively marketed the drug as an alternative to warfarin for people who sought to avoid blood clots. Neither of the companies admitted liability, although both noted they prevailed in six cases that went to trial.


In a statement, the Janssen unit at J&J explained the company wanted to avoid the “enormous” time and resources to defend the lawsuits. But the health care giant also maintained the company “always appropriately informed physicians of the information that they need to make treatment decisions” and continues to “stand behind” Xarelto.

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