Over the years, millions of people switched to Zantac, primarily because of its efficacy, reasonable price, and its perceived importance as a proven solution. But everything changed with the release of an FDA study which established that the product contains NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine), a cancer-causing compound.
After such FDA updates and reports about the dangers of taking Zantac, there have been voluntary mass recalls.
But what is Zantac? What is the legal recourse for people who developed cancer from Zantac? What are the recent developments in the Zantac lawsuits? If you have similar questions in mind, below are some clarifications to help you out.
Popularly known to cure heartburns, Zantac (ranitidine) is part of the drug family known as histamine-2 (H2 blockers). These blockers, referred to as “antacids”, work by minimizing the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
Zantac was developed by the European pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. It was first approved in the United States in 1983 and issued as a prescription drug.
The product soon became one of the best-selling medicines in the history of pharmaceutics. This treatment was the first product to cross a U.S. annual sales threshold of over $1 billion. The producers and distributors of the drug made a fortune.
One key factor that sparked the success of Zantac was the insistence that the product performed efficiently, and it was marketed as completely safe. People were only to find out later that the assurances of the manufacturer proved false.
FDA Takes Zantac Off Shelves
According to Drug Injury News, the FDA directed the recall of the popular heartburn product from the U.S. market in April 2020, following months of ever-increasing evidence that Zantac caused cancer.
Yet, given the manufacturers’ extensive voluntary removals of Zantac, the medication was still available on prescription basis, and also over the counter in some markets. The recent FDA recall indicates that Zantac and other ranitidine drugs will no longer be available anywhere in the United States.
The FDA released a public safety notice back in September 2019 about the possible toxicity due to NDMA in Zantac. But, at that point, the FDA did not have enough information to determine if a recall was necessary.
Since that time, the FDA has performed its own independent review and laboratory testing. In the end, they validated the alarming results of earlier third party studies.
Recent FDA research showed that the NDMA levels in Zantac rise over time, even under standard storage conditions. The testing revealed that the older a Zantac drug is, and the longer it remains on the market, the higher the NDMA rating.
Furthermore, the findings of the FDA tests showed NDMA amounts well above the appropriate daily intake cap in Zantac. The FDA testing and resulting recall are significant, and should pave the way for litigation in relation to the mass suffering arising from the use of Zantac.
Developments On The Zantac Lawsuit Cases
The large amounts of NDMA discovered in Zantac implies that when people used the drug, they were exposed to harmful carcinogens.
A more significant concern is that pharmaceutical firms and companies which worked on Zantac’s development and manufacturing either knew or ought to have been informed of NDMA risks in the product.
Sanofi (Zantac manufacturers) and many other firms are currently facing massive liability claims from thousands of potential claimants. The first case against Sanofi has already been initiated, and many more are waiting in line.
Zantac Settlement Cost
If you or a family member have developed complications from the use of Zantac, you would want to learn about possible compensation benefits and the potential amount of actual payouts.
In February 2020, the Multidistrict Litigation’s (MDL) petition was granted. The most obvious starting point is the litigation about Roundup —a powerful herbicide. Same with Zantac, Roundup contains components that are highly toxic and cancerous. The Roundup cases were a good point of comparison as the complainants had also developed cancer. And in those situations, the liability is contested with good lawyers.
However, the Roundup cases were not solved, though the compensation costs for those cases come in at around $500,000.
You may be questioning why a half-a-million-dollar lawsuit is unjust. This is an excellent question. But, normally the settlement value of any cases involving mass suffering should always be less than the case’s trial value.
The Roundup cases serve as an excellent example. In those cases, the verdicts were in the millions. But you can expect a smaller amount for cases not ending up in trial.
Claim Census Requested In Zantac MDL
The federal judge concerned with the Zantac Multidistrict Litigation ordered a two-part count of all the Zantac cancer claims that were filed and remained unfiled.
Courts issued an order in April 2020 that allows a two-tiered survey of all the Zantac statements. The first part of the census will provide the court with an accurate number as to how many individual cases there are in total.
The second part of the claim census will require lawyers to submit information on all individual complainant claims. The second form of the census will also need complainants with filed cases to provide further detailed information on their alleged use of Zantac and the physical harm they suffered.
This knowledge will be used to help generate a broad picture of the severity of the suspected use and injury. This will further form the basis for separating the individual cases into parties for mediation purposes.
With many recent findings connecting cancer to Zantac use and other ranitidine-containing drugs, there is room for significant lawsuits to make amends for cancer patients. Ranitidine was administered to about 15 million individuals in the United States alone from 2007 to 2017. The number does not account for over-the-counter purchases.
Multidistrict Litigation can arise at some stage when further cases are brought. This may contribute to more effective trials, as well as the opportunity for a settlement to escape possible litigation.
If you, or anyone you know, are taking ranitidine at this point, it is best not to take it. Talk to your doctor first about your concerns before taking any such medicines. If possible, find out whether there is any drug on the market that may function better as an antacid, and make sure that it does not have any cancer-causing components.