Related: Zantac Cancer Lawsuit | Lawyer
Zantac (ranitidine) has been the subject of thousands of lawsuits over concerns that its use raises the risk of cancer.
Zantac Lawsuits | Voluntary Recall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not officially recall Zantac. A recall occurs, technically, when the FDA requires that a given product must be removed from store shelves. In the case of Zantac, the FDA requested that all retailers stop selling Zantac and ranitidine products. However, most retailers stopped selling Zantac, so the product was essentially recalled. To supplant the drug, Sanofi introduced Zantac 360 in 2021. The company replaced ranitidine with famotidine, which is found in other heartburn meds.
Zantac morphs into Toxic
Valsure Pharmacy tested Zantac and found that it can break down, when heated, into a known cancer-causing contaminant called NDMA. The FDA reported on September 13, 2019 that it had discovered N-nitrosodimethylamine in Zantac (ranitidine). Other research has also shown Zantac becomes more dangerous in some conditions. Eating certain foods, storing ranitidine at high temperatures, or storing it for long periods can increase the cancer-causing agent in the drug.
After FDA voiced safety concerns over Zantac in 2019, it virtually disappeared from store shelves. Walgreens, Walmart and other retailers pulled it from their stores. Those moves were followed by Zantac cancer lawsuits being filed in state courts across the country. Thousands of Zantac lawsuits have now been filed.
Zantac Product Liability Claims
Zantac lawsuits have been filed as product liability claim. Plaintiffs allege, and must prove, that Zantac (ranitidine) makers created a dangerous drug and knew it. Plaintiffs’ complaints allege that even though Sanofi knew it had produced a drug that would harm people, the company failed to warn users about harms Zantac could cause.
These plaintiffs may recover damages if they can prove their claims. The Zantac cases are filed on an individual basis (not as a class action), according to the alleged harms to each individual.
Zantac Makers named in Litigation
Several state lawsuits are teed up in state courts across the U.S., along with more than 2,000 federal cases. Those federal cases have been combined into a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) court that could soon host a bellwether trial. That MDL trial was expected to begin this month, along with some of the state cases that have been filed, but the trial was canceled after a Zantac payout was made in that case. This does not mean, however, that all Zantac claims have been settled or will be settled. That fight continues in the courts.
MDL vs. Class Action
An MDL differs from a class action lawsuit. A class action claim requires plaintiff representatives who ideally all have the same outcomes or damages. By contrast, plaintiffs in an MDL court can all have very different outcomes or damages; yet their cases can be combined in order to save all the parties in the cases, including the judiciary, money and time, as they can share trial resources such as deposition, discovery, and trial testimony.
Cases in the Zantac MDL are being combined in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. They are overseen there by Chief Judge K. Michael Moore.
The MDL is expected to host a trial later this year following almost four years of pretrial motions and other legal activity. The case is in the discovery phase, which is the part of a case when both sides can gather information from the other.