For the 1,300+ Zantac cancer lawsuits already filed in the United States, 2021 has been a busy year. While these Zantac claims are advancing toward a resolution, many more former users of the heartburn medication are filing new lawsuits.
If you’re on the fence about whether to move forward with a Zantac lawsuit claim, here is a quick refresher on the litigation.
Zantac is the brand name for the heartburn drug ranitidine, previously sold in both over-the-counter and prescription-strength formulations. On April 1, 2020, the Food & Drug Administration requested that all manufacturers of products containing ranitidine remove those products from the United States market.
The reason behind this recall is that ranitidine has been found to contain a probable human carcinogen called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, in excess of the quantities considered safe by the FDA.
Through animal laboratory studies and epidemiological case-control studies on human exposure, NDMA exposure has been linked to several types of cancer, including:
Some types of cancer are more closely related to NDMA exposure, and to Zantac lawsuits, than others.
On September 9, 2019, online pharmacy Valisure sent a citizen petition to the FDA warning the agency of the pharmacy’s research findings that linked ranitidine to unsafe levels of NDMA. In Valisure’s laboratory testing, the company reported finding as much as 3,000,000 ng of NDMA in one tablet of ranitidine. The maximum amount of NDMA considered safe to ingest by the FDA is 96 ng per day.
The FDA issued a statement warning the public that NDMA had been found in some samples of ranitidine drugs shortly after receiving Valisure’s citizen petition. However, the ranitidine recalls that followed were on a manufacturer-by-manufacturer and lot-by-lot basis. Meanwhile, the FDA was continuing to conduct its own investigations, which, as the agency reported on November 1, 2019, found NDMA “in all samples tested.”
Not until 2020, after a second citizen petition was filed, did the FDA finally call for all ranitidine products to be removed from the market. Through an independent investigation conducted using a new method of testing, California research laboratory Emery Pharma determined that the instability of the ranitidine molecule could cause the medication to produce excessive levels of NDMA when exposed to heat, as the company reported in its January 2, 2020, citizen petition.
Yes, the litigation against the manufacturers of Zantac and other drugs containing ranitidine is a real legal action. In fact, there are two types of Zantac lawsuits.
Zantac cancer claims have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Florida federal court, which means that the pre-trial proceedings that apply to all of these claims will go before one federal judge who is familiar with this matter. Upwards of 1,300 Zantac cancer lawsuit matters, which include the claims of more than 70,000 patients and consumers, have been consolidated under Case MDL No. 2924 in the United States District Court’s Southern District of Florida.
In May 2021, plaintiffs’ attorneys involved in the Zantac lawsuits accused brand-name drug maker Sanofi of deleting or destroying emails related to the recall and lawsuits, according to Bloomberg. The company is conducting an internal probe pertaining to these emails and should present a report to the federal judge overseeing the case in August, PMLiVE reported.
As of July 2021, no Zantac cancer lawsuits have been resolved. Although the first lawsuits were filed almost a year and ten months ago, the litigation is still in its early stages. The discovery portion of the pre-trial stage of litigation is expected to last until late 2021.
Since claims are still progressing through the pre-trial stage, it’s too soon to say what the average payout for Zantac lawsuits will be or how much any individual Zantac lawsuit is worth.
What Zantac lawsuit attorneys can tell claimants is that, if successful, their cases will likely include compensation for damages such as the following:
If you have questions about a Zantac lawsuit or want to have your case reviewed at no cost, you should reach out to a Zantac lawsuit attorney as soon as possible.