Litigation concerning the popular antacid medication, Zantac (Ranitidine), is still in the early stages. The FDA announced in September 2019 that the over-the-counter drug contains NDMA – a known human carcinogen. Zantac is classified as a histamine H2-receptor antagonist, also known as an H2 blocker.
Over-the-counter ranitidine is most commonly used by patients for heartburn relief. Prescription-strength ranitidine is used to treat and prevent stomach ulcers, as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease. Major pharmacy chains such as Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS have since taken the dangerous drug off their shelves.
Recent Developments Regarding Zantac Generics
The recent ruling by Judge Rosenberg in the Zantac MDL regarding generics doesn’t eliminate generics from the litigation. However, cases must be filed on a state-by-state basis. Law firms pursuing these claims will have to build and file individual cases for each claimant, which requires hours of preparation and expertise.
Zantac criteria finalized by MDL Plaintiffs’ Leadership
After numerous conversations with our experts—and based on strategic and legal considerations—the MDL Plaintiffs’ Leadership decided to pursue only the following ten cancer types moving forward, and for Daubert.
- Colorectal (intestinal)
- Stomach (gastric)
- Kidney (renal)
Other Zantac Litigation News
Zantac trials could begin as early as mid 2021. The McCallister Law Group, LLC states there are already over 500 cases and millions of Americans who took the drug either OTC (over-the-counter) or via prescription as it was a leading heartburn medication in the U.S. for many years. We anticipate that this number will rise sharply in the near future given the sheer number of people who have taken Zantac over the years. Even if only a small portion of people who took the medication are affected, there could be tens of thousands of lawsuits.
Science Backing The Litigation
There is plenty of science behind the litigation, suggesting this particular mass tort will have far-reaching legal implications. Judges naturally tend to be as objective as possible, leaning on whatever data is available to base their decisions upon.
The Valisure study of 2019 discovered a link of Zantac and its generics to the carcinogen NDMA during its routine testing of every batch of the medication, and first notified the FDA of its initial findings in June of 2019. On September 13th, Valisure filed a detailed petition with the Food and Drug Administration asking the agency to recall all products containing ranitidine. Valisure’s research, along with that of Stanford University and others, found that NDMA was the result of the “inherent instability” of the ranitidine molecule. This means that all manufacturers, brand or generic, and all lots of ranitidine-containing medications are affected and could generate very high levels of NDMA in the human body.
The Emery Pharma study of 2020 resulted in a petition to the FDA stating the molecules are not heat-stable, resulting in further creation of NDMA at unacceptable levels for consumers. The petition also requests that stability testing be mandatory before these medicines can be sold. Further, the drugs will need to be transported in temperature-controlled vehicles and should have warnings of the potential for cancer-causing by-products generated if the medications are exposed to heat.
More Zantac Plaintiffs Will Emerge
The FDA previously predicted that one in every 8,000 people who took the maximum dosage of Valsartan, another drug containing NDMA, may develop cancer. Currently, we do not know the amount of NDMA found in ranitidine compared to Valsartan. Claims against the negligent manufacturers of Zantac will be based on the fact that they either knew or should have known that their ranitidine products were dangerous and may cause cancer due to unsafe levels of NDMA. Patients who were diagnosed with cancer and have been taking Zantac or other ranitidine drugs, over-the-counter or prescription, for at least 12 months are eligible to file a Zantac Lawsuit.
If you’d like to join Broughton Partners in the fight against corporate negligence, call us today at (912) 304-4444.
- Chaffin Luhana LLP. “Zantac Timeline.”, https://www.chaffinluhana.com/dangerous-drugs/zantac-lawsuit/timeline/. Accessed December 21, 2020.
- The Milestone Press. “Court Appoints Plaintiffs Dream Team in Zantac Litigation.”, https://milestone.legalexaminer.com/legal/court-appoints-plaintiffs-dream-team-in-zantac-litigation/. Accessed December 21, 2020.
- Shouse Injury Law Group. “Zantac Lawsuit Settlement.”, https://www.shouselaw.com/torts/zantac/settlements/. Accessed December 21, 2020.
- Motley Rice LLC. “Zantac lawsuit update: Medical attorney Carmen Scott appointed to leadership position in national litigation.”, https://www.motleyrice.com/article/zantac-lawsuit-carmen-scott-mdl-leadership-position. Accessed December 21, 2020.
- United States District Court Southern District of Florida. https://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/multi-district-litigation-mdl. Accessed December 21, 2020.
- LawyersandSettlements.com. “What to expect in Zantac cancer lawsuits for 2021 and beyond.”, https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/legal-news/zantac-heartburn-medication-cancer/what-expect-in-zantac-cancer-lawsuits-2021-beyond-23344.html. Accessed December 21, 2020.
- AboutLawsuits.com. “More than two dozen lawyers appointed to Zantac litigation leadership positions.”, https://www.aboutlawsuits.com/zantac-litigation-leadership-lawyers-appointed-171323/. Accessed December 22, 2020.
- AboutLawsuits.com. “Link Between Zantac and Cancer To Be Considered by MDL Court Before Selection of Bellwether Trials.”, https://www.aboutlawsuits.com/zantac-lawsuit-daubert-hearings-172247/. Accessed December 22, 2020.