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You don’t deserve to suffer from chronic kidney disease or kidney failure. You shouldn’t have to plan your life around dialysis or the wait for a kidney transplant. Before you suffered kidney failure caused by medication, you were free to enjoy your life. Now your body is failing you, and your quality of life has plummeted, through no fault of your own.
There is help. A lawsuit for your Nexium injuries could be the start of getting your life back. Nothing can make up for the pain you suffered, but a settlement can help you get better.
Console and Associates has 25 years of experience handling personal injury claims. Over that time, we’ve worked with law firms across the country, including those that handle Nexium claims. If we cannot handle a claim, our goal is to connect you with an experienced attorney who can. If you suffer from kidney disease after taking Nexium, call today. We’ll ask you a few questions so that we can put you in touch with the right attorney.
Already, hundreds of people are pursuing lawsuits against drugs like Nexium. Known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPI, the medication promise to help with heartburn. But these commonly-prescribed pills can cause serious damage to your kidneys, such as:
Chronic kidney disease
At its most severe levels, kidney disease caused by medication can result in:
These side-effects are dangerous. An adverse reaction means you’re faced with large medical bills and a long, painful road to recovery.
Esomeprazole (another name for Nexium) is a type of heartburn reliever called a proton pump inhibitor, or PPI. Taken by mouth, or by IV in a hospital setting, Nexium can be prescription-strength or over-the-counter.
Both prescription and OTC Nexium are linked to an increased risk of kidney damage.
PPIs treat heartburn, acid reflux, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Your stomach naturally produces an acid that’s strong enough to eat right through the metal. When there’s too much acid, it can eat through the protective lining of your stomach or move back up your throat. This leads to ulcers and uncomfortable reflux. Left untreated these conditions cause serious and sometimes permanent, injury to your body.
Nexium and other PPIs prevent your stomach’s proton pump, a chemical system in the body, from working. This stops them from producing stomach acid, which stops heartburn and ulcers.
Unfortunately, once a medication is in your body, its effects can reach beyond the problem it is supposed to treat. When a drug has the ability to change the chemical balance in your body, such as Nexium, it has the potential to cause serious harm.
The discovery that proton pump inhibitors are associated with kidney disease was a gradual one. First, research began showing a link between PPIs and acute interstitial nephritis. This condition is, sort of like an allergic reaction in the kidneys, ABC News reported. But as research continued, evidence emerged that patients taking proton pump inhibitors were more likely to suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), too, according to the JAMA Internal Medicine journal in 2016.
In fact, taking PPIs like Nexium was associated with, a 20 percent to 50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease, according to CBS News. If you developed kidney disease or injury after using Nexium, it might not be a coincidence. Your heartburn medication could be to blame.
The High Cost of Kidney Damage
One factor that helps determine how much money you can get from a Nexium lawsuit is your damages. Serious kidney disease or injury can land you in the hospital for several days, potentially racking up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. If your kidney damage progresses to end-stage failure, the costs can be even higher.
Dialysis is a procedure used to remove water and waste products from the body when your kidneys are no longer able to do this work themselves due to the damage they have sustained.
You may need to go on dialysis if:
Some patients undergo hemodialysis, in which a machine filters waste from the blood. Others undergo peritoneal dialysis, in which clinicians introduce a special fluid called dialysate that removes waste from the body into the patient’s abdominal cavity.
The average cost of dialysis is $89,000 per year for hemodialysis. In all, the United States spends $42 billion per year on hemodialysis. While peritoneal dialysis can be more affordable, it has its own drawbacks, including the potential for infection.
If you’re looking at a kidney transplant, your medical costs for the first year alone will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You’ll need to get a kidney, first of all. The average time on the waitlist to receive a kidney is three to five years, according to the National Kidney Foundation. You could try to find a living donor who could give you a kidney sooner. But due to the complexity of finding a match and the many obstacles you would need to overcome to secure a living donor, this can be challenging.
Once you have a kidney for transplant, your medical care will include not just the surgery itself, but other care, as well. You can expect to spend at least one or two days in intensive care recovering and five to 10 days total in the hospital. That’s assuming everything goes smoothly, and you have no complications.
There are costs associated with every aspect of your care, and they can add up quickly. Even once you leave the hospital, the medical expenses keep climbing. The cost of anti-rejection medicines can be as high as $3,000 per month in the period immediately following the transplant.
A health insurance company will usually cover a portion of these costs. But you personally will be on the hook for thousands and thousands of dollars. Under Medicare, for example, you would pay 20 percent of the costs. Private insurers may make you responsible for different amounts.
Just how much are we talking about? The National Foundation for Transplants puts the cost of getting a new kidney at $330,000. The Milliman Research Report lists the billed charges for the average kidney transplant as $414,800.
Who could afford that kind of financial burden, especially when someone else, the manufacturer of a dangerous medication, is to blame for your kidney failure?
With so many serious side effects, it’s easy to wonder why a manufacturer would sell such a dangerous medication. The answer is simple: Many companies put their profits before patient well-being.
A Six Billion Dollar A Year Pill
Proton pump inhibitors are among the most widely prescribed drugs in America, the journal Gastroenterology Research and Practice reported. In fact, more than 15 million Americans take the prescription forms of PPIs. An untold number of consumers use OTC proton pump inhibitors.
Even among this profitable group of heartburn drugs, Nexium is one of the most lucrative. Since 2010, Nexium has generated close to $6 billion per year, and sometimes more. Nexium is one of the best-selling medications in the U.S.
AstraZeneca made billions of dollars a year selling the medication that caused you severe organ damage. Giant pharmaceutical manufacturers have the responsibility, not to mention the financial ability, to pay for the harm their drugs cause.
Serious kidney damage is treatable, but unfortunately, it can’t be cured in many cases. Treatments such as dialysis require hours of being hooked up to a machine each week, while kidney transplants can be difficult to acquire and often require a lifetime of anti-rejection medication and ongoing care.
There’s no doubt that developing kidney damage can have a major impact on your life. The medical interventions needed to save your life in the event of kidney failure aren’t easy or convenient by any means. The cost of your care can quickly add up. In fact, the United States spends more than $31 billion annually on treating end-stage kidney disease and kidney failure for Medicare patients alone. That’s not counting how many private insurers, Medicaid, and patients themselves pay toward their medical care.
Are you wondering how you will afford ongoing dialysis or a kidney transplant? Are your treatments keeping you out of work? Do you feel too sick to do the activities you used to love? Pursuing a kidney disease lawsuit maybe your one option to get life back on track.
Filing a claim against AstraZeneca means you attempt to recover the damages their medication caused. These damages can include:
If you.re going to recover from serious kidney damage due to medication, you’ll need the best care. You’ll need compensation for the income you lost, the costs of your medical treatment, and the important but priceless loss of your quality of life. And your best chance to get that compensation is to have an attorney file your claim on your behalf.
Currently, all Nexium lawsuits against AstraZeneca are ongoing an awaiting trial. By last year, claimants filed more than 500 PPI kidney lawsuits in multi-district legislation. In 2017, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (PDF) centralized all claims in the US District Court in New Jersey. Any future claims against PPI manufacturers for kidney damage will also be in this district.
While there are no settlements for Nexium to look at yet, this is not the first time PPI manufacturers found themselves in court.
Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
$7.9 Million | Unethical Kickbacks For Doctors
In 2015, Nexium manufacturer AstraZeneca agreed to pay the government $7.9 Million for allegedly creating a kickback scheme to promote their drug unethically. According to the Department of Justice, AstraZeneca gave Medco Health Solutions compensation in exchange for the pharmacy benefit manager to take Nexium the only PPI medication they would offer.
$20 Million | Misleading Advertising
Nexium isn’t the only proton pump inhibitor offered by AstraZeneca. In fact, it’s very similar to one of their previous drugs, Prilosec, but Nexium was far more profitable for the company. Because of this, AstraZeneca used what lawyers said was a misleading advertising campaign that exaggerated the differences between the two pills. As a result, they agreed to pay $20 million to people who purchased Nexium during the time that the campaign was active.
$24 Million | Delaying The Competition
In 2015, Teva Pharmaceuticals settled a class-action lawsuit after a federal judge found that they were “essentially paid off” by AstraZeneca to delay bringing their generic form of Nexium to the market. By limiting the competition, AstraZeneca could maintain its high-profit margins for the popular heartburn medication. Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay Nexium customers $24 Million.
$55 Million | Off-Script Advertising
AstraZeneca isn’t the only company caught unethically advertising their PPI medication. In 2012, Pfizer agreed to pay more than $55 million dollars for promoting one of their drugs, Protonix, as a treatment for conditions it was not approved for by the FDA. The government originally approved Protonix as a short-term treatment of erosive esophagitis, a form of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Instead, Pfizer promoted the medication for more common forms of GERD that it was not approved to treat.
You don’t have to suffer in silence or try to get through this medical ordeal alone. If you were diagnosed with chronic kidney disease after taking Nexium, you should speak with an attorney to learn more about your legal options. If you don’t know of an attorney that handles a claim like yours, call us. After 25 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of attorneys across the country and can connect you with one that has experience holding pharmaceutical companies accountable.