Sunday, June 13, 2021 - People who have developed cancer allegedly from using the Zantac brand of ranitidine heartburn and acid reflux medicine have filed suit against Sanofi and GalaxoSmithKline. Zantac‘s manufacturers and other companies sold ranitidine at retail outlets over-the-counter, and via prescription pharmacies. Sanofi voluntarily withdrew Zantac from the market when highly elevated N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a deadly carcinogen were discovered. Several months later on April 1, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially recalled all forms of ranitidine including all generic versions. Lawsuits filed through multidistrict litigation (MDL) have included manufacturers and retailers of generic ranitidine, and have made similar accusations. Generic manufacturers want the complaints against them dismissed citing Federal law that prohibits them from making changes to the design or warnings about the drug and that they could not have warned consumers. Only the expiration date of a generic drug may be changed without FDA approval. MDL plaintiff‘s complaints include those against generic manufacturers for failing to update the product‘s expiration date to reflect the greater instability of ranitidine the longer it remained unused. Visit Zantac antacid cancer lawsuit to learn more.
Generic forms of Zantac have been on the market since Glaxo‘s U.S. patent for ranitidine expired in 1997. According to Reuters, ownership of the Zantac brand has bounced from company to company since 2004, and landing in the lap of Sanofi. "(In 2004,) Pfizer received FDA approval for an over-the-counter version of Zantac in the U.S. The brand later moved in various transactions to Johnson & Johnson, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, and Sanofi SA, which currently sells Zantac in the U.S. Other companies also launch(ed) generic over-the-counter competitors (until the drug‘s voluntary recall in early 2020.)" Retailers are also being named as co-defendants in lawsuits against Sanofi‘s Zantac medicine. Retailers Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid are co-defendants in some of the Zantac lawsuits.
Generic drugs have the reputation of being cheap imitations of the original that presumably offer more features and benefits, but that is not always true. Generic drugs are nearly identical to their brand name competition, and the only thing to distinguish one from the other is slick advertising. Sanofi and others have spent billions of dollars promoting and advertising Zantac in one form or another. A perfect example of misleading marketing is calling one version of Zantac "Extra Strength" while simply doubling the dosage of one pill from the original. If a consumer thinks that a drug company is more reliable based on the trust the brand has built they are again mistaken. Lawsuits against Sanofi claim that the company knew for decades that ranitidine was unstable and that the molecule could break down to form the carcinogen NDMA, and covered up this information. They are now under federal investigation in the U.S. for lying about it to regulators. Zantac cancer lawyers are interviewing those who have developed stomach, bladder, esophagus, and other forms of cancer and have taken Zantac regularly.