Zantac Cancer Lawsuit Update
Zantac cancer litigation is moving fast on several fronts. There are state actions as well as the Federal MDL in Florida. A trial should occur in 2022. If your cancer is terminal, you may benefit by filing your case in California State Court. There are advantages in CA State court with CA’s prefernce rules.
Zantac or Ranitidine is used by millions of Americans who suffer from heart burn and take medications to reduce the production of stomach acids for symptom relief. Zantac is a popular drug that has been taken by many people who suffer from heart burn and acid indigestion. Unfortunately, this medication has been found to contain NDMA, which is a carcinogen that can cause stomach cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer of the stomach after taking Zantac for the relief of your symptoms, the attorneys at The Lovely Law Firm might be able to help.
In September 2019, the online pharmacy Valisure informed the FDA that the company had found the carcinogen NDMA in some batches of the popular heartburn medication Zantac (ranitidine.) Shortly after the FDA issued an announcement, retailers pulled Zantac and generics from the shelves. A Summary of the study can be found by clicking here.
The Valisure Pharmacy further discusses the Zantac Ranitidine issue here.
We anticipate further studies to come out that will bolster plaintiff’s cases.
What is NDMA?
N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA is a contaminant that is a known carcinogen. It is an industrial chemical that is a byproduct of certain industrial processes. NDMA has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a possible carcinogen in humans. Research has demonstrated that it is a powerful carcinogen for animals who ingest it from drinking contaminated water. Its sole purpose is to cause cancer in animals for research and has been shown to do so in over 20 different species. NDMA accumulates overtime on store shelves as well as time and heat in storage affects these Zantac ranitidine products. On Sept. 13, 2019, the federal Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory that Zantac and its generic, ranitidine, have been found to contain NDMA. It has subsequently issued voluntary recalls for the drug to health care professionals and consumers.
Ranitidine is available both over the counter and by prescription. The medication is a histamine blocker and is manufactured by multiple companies. Since the voluntary recall, only Apotex and Novartis/Sandoz have pulled their products from the shelves. Major pharmacy chains, including CVS and Walgreens, have reacted by pulling all of the ranitidine-containing products from their shelves. However, these products are still being sold to consumers at many retail locations in South Carolina.
Complications and injuries from ranitidine
NDMA causes cancer and is also a hepatotoxin. Short-term exposures can result in liver fibrosis and other types of liver damage. Long-term exposures can increase the risk of lung, kidney, and liver tumors. Exposure to NDMA can cause the following symptoms:
- Abdominal cramping
- Liver enlargement
- Reduced liver functioning
- Reduced kidney functioning
- Reduced lung functioning
Some other complications that have been associated with the medication include the following:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Nervous system disorders
- Hepatitis and liver failure
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Low blood platelet levels
- Increased pneumonia risk
- Hair loss
- Skin rashes
- Stomach cancer
This drug has been linked to many different digestive system cancers, including cancers of the esophagus, liver, breast, kidney, throat, gall bladder, small and large intestine, anus, bladder, appendix, pancreas, and others.
Lawsuits against Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim
Lawsuits against Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, the makers of the name-brand medication, have been filed in California. The plaintiffs accuse the companies of manufacturing a drug and selling it to the public that they knew or should have known contained NDMA, a known carcinogen.
It is unclear what caused the contamination of the drug to occur. However, research from Stanford indicates that the main ingredient of the drug may break down and form NDMA during the digestion process. In that study, people who took the medication had increased levels of NDMA in their urine.
Lawsuits against the manufacturers of this drug are based on a legal theory called product liability. Drugmakers can be held to be liable when they design, manufacture, and market drugs that are unreasonably dangerous and that seriously injure people. By filing lawsuits against these and other drugmakers of these drugs, people might recover compensation to pay for their losses.
NDMA break down will be key in the Zantac trial science. Currently the NDMA is created in several ways.
- During the Manufacturing
- While being Shipped and Stored
- Inside the body itself during digestion and absorption
Compensation and damages
The available compensation in a case will depend on the facts and circumstances, the extent of the injuries, and the total amount of the losses. An attorney will carefully review each case to determine its merits and potential value. Dangerous drug lawsuits might allow people to recover compensation to pay for their economic and noneconomic losses. Types of damages that are economic include actual monetary losses for such things as the following:
- Past medical expenses to treat the injuries
- Future anticipated medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Past lost wages
- Future anticipated income losses
Noneconomic losses are more difficult to value and include the following types:
- hysical pain and suffering
- Emotional or mental anguish
- Disfigurement and scarring
- A reduction in the quality of life
In claims involving the wrongful death of a loved one, the following damages might be recovered:
- Medical expenses to treat the deceased person until he or she died
- Lost contributions of the deceased person’s income that he or she would have made to the family over his or her life expectancy
- Lost rights to an inheritance
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium and guidance
- Loss of the value of services that the deceased person contributed to the household and family
Punitive damages are only awarded in egregious cases as they are intended to punish the defendants instead of to compensate the victims. It is unlikely that punitive damages would be awarded in one of these lawsuits unless evidence of outrageous conduct by one of these companies is uncovered.
How an attorney can help
Claims involving defective or dangerous drugs can be complex. The drug makers are large corporations with teams of defense attorneys ready to defend against claims. People who try to file lawsuits against large corporations on their own stand a much lower chance of winning their claims. These types of cases also often require substantial investigative work and the assistance of experts. An injury attorney at The Lovely Law Firm can work with experts and investigators to build a strong case showing the liability of the drug companies for your injuries and increase your chances of recovering compensation. Contact us today to schedule a case review by calling us at 843.839.4111.
The Lovely Law Firm is reviewing Cancer claims that meet the following criteria:
- Must have used brand name Zantac OR generic brand (ranitidine)
- Must have been diagnosed with either: Breast Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Liver Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Small Intestine/Colorectal Cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Prostate Cancer (if Age at a diagnosis under 65), Pancreatic Cancer, or Kidney (Renal) Cancer
- Lung Cancer if not a smoker
- Must have used the drug after October 1984
- Must have been diagnosed with one of the above injuries from January 1985 to present
-Must have used qualifying drugs for a minimum of 6 months
- Must have developed one of the above injuries at least 12 months after use start date
- No previous Cancer