Why Are Zantac Lawsuits Being Filed?
Plaintiffs filing Zantac lawsuits claim the drug’s maker designed a defective drug with a label that did not properly warn health care providers and patients that the drug could increase the user’s risk of developing cancer.
After makers of Zantac and ranitidine issued recalls, the FDA, in April 2020, told all the drug’s manufacturers to stop selling the drug in the United States. The reason is that it is contaminated with N-Nitrosodimethylamine (‘NDMA’) – a probable human carcinogen. The FDA then recommended that people use Zantac alternatives such as Prilosec and Nexium.
Valisure Lab Testing finds NDMA
An independent pharmacy, Valisure, found that some Zantac formulas contain more than 3,000,000 ng per tablet, while the FDA has determined people should consume no more than a maximum of 96 nanograms of NDMA daily.
Zantac lawsuit defendants include Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, Sanofi US Services Inc., Chattem Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline. Zantac lawsuits claim Zantac’s design is defective. They allege that ranitidine (the active ingredient) is an unstable molecule. According to Valisure, ranitidine may actually form NDMA in the user’s stomach.
Plaintiffs in Zantac lawsuits allege that defendants failed to warn them that ranitidine could cause cancer. According to a lawsuit filed by Michael and Deborah Combs, drug makers were aware as far back as 1981 of several studies highlighting the dangers of NDMA formation with Zantac. The studies found that the potential of forming NDMA increases when ranitidine mixes with nitrite in the body.
Zantac Lawsuits Status
Zantac lawsuits are in the beginning stages. Discovery has begun and is scheduled to be completed by December 2021. Federal Zantac lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) court in Florida before Judge Robin L. Rosenberg. As of July 15, 2021, some 670 lawsuits are pending in that MDL court.
Generic Zantac Cases Dismissed
In July 2021, Judge Rosenberg dismissed cases against generic drug makers including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and others.
Because plaintiffs in Zantac litigation allege they have cancer, Judge Rosenberg provided rules for lawyers to take testimonies of plaintiffs in failing health. Parties may schedule expedited depositions of plaintiffs who may not survive beyond the year or may not be capable of testifying competently in the next six months.
To date, August 19, 2021, there have been no Zantac settlements or jury verdicts. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the scheduling of bellwether trials and other court proceedings.
The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the scheduling of bellwether trials and other court proceedings.
Which Cancers Are Named in Zantac Lawsuits?
Those who have taken Zantac and filed lawsuits have reported a wide variety of cancers linked to the drug and NDMA.
According to Zantac lawyers, many doctors who diagnosed people with cancer after taking Zantac said they had no family history or genetic markers for cancer. Many doctors reportedly told patients it was caused by something from their environment, which could include NDMA contamination.
Cancers that qualify for Zantac lawsuits include:
- Bladder cancer and bladder removal
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer and kidney removal
- Liver cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
This list is not an all-inclusive list. Lawyers are accepting cases with many types of cancer.