Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - More than 70,000 lawsuits have been registered with attorneys from coast to coast accusing Sanofi, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, of failing to warn their customers that their flagship heartburn and acid reflux medicine degrades and becomes carcinogenic when heated. Experts expect that the legal action could expand to become one of the largest mass tort legal actions ever and potentially surpass tobacco and asbestos litigation from the 1970s. More than 15 million people took Zantac to alleviate their heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, and gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) when online prescription drug testing pharmacy Valisure discovered highly elevated levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), an undisputably deadly carcinogen, in every tablet. Defense attorneys could use Valisure‘s statements that NDMA increases into the millions of nonograms per tablet when heated against them. Defense experts allege that Valisure‘s testing by overheating the samples was the reason for the drug‘s degradation and that it does not break down by storing or ingesting it.
Zantac users that have heard that others have developed cancer from using the medicine are naturally concerned and want to know their legal options. People that have used Zantac regularly for over one year and are diagnosed with stomach, bladder, colon, or other forms of cancer should contact a Zantac cancer lawyer to discuss filing a claim. Zantac cancer trial could start in 2023 unless a settlement can be reached before then. The cases are organized and grouped into multidistrict litigation (MDL) to come to a better understanding of the complex science that escapes most jury‘s knowledge about the subject and could be misunderstood. The MDL judge will allow two or three experts from each side to give sworn testimony about why they believe Zantac causes cancer or does not, and then it is up to the jury to decide.
Potential Zantac plaintiffs were exposed to ranitidine over a 20 year time. The ranitidine molecule is inherently unstable and degrades into NDMA when heated. NDMA is so carcinogenic it was used by scientists to induce tumors in lab animals used for cancer research. The molecule is banned in the US for that reason. Zantac was available by prescription only for the first few years and then offered over-the-counter. Generic manufacturers offered ranitidine at a much lower cost than the Zantac brand. Generic manufacturers and retailers that sold Zantac have had claims alleging failure to warn and negligence dismissed by MDL Judge Robin Rosenberg. The judge found that state laws governed generic manufacturers, and they were unable to warn customers about the dangers of ranitidine because to do so would have violated state law. According to Fierce Pharma, Judge Rosenberg wrote the following ruling. "State law would require them to redesign or re-label ranitidine products, which they could not do under their federal duty of sameness. They were not required to stop selling the products to comply with both federal and state laws. Thus, the failure-to-warn and negligence claims are preempted.