Are Sanofi and Generic Drug Manufacturers Responsible for Zantac-Related Cancer Cases?
Recently, Valisure found that ranitidine contained Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, a carcinogen. Zantac and several other drugs used for heartburn contain ranitidine. Valisure notified the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of its findings in June 2019, then filed a detailed petition with the FDA on September 13, 2019. The report also asked the FDA to recall any product that contained ranitidine.
Valisure wasn’t the only company that found NDMA in ranitidine. Stanford University and others also came to those same findings. The researchers found that NDMA caused an “inherent instability” in the ranitidine molecule. Regardless of the manufacturer, any drug that contains ranitidine has NDMA in it, which could lead to high levels of the cancer-causing agent NDMA in the body. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac then contact a Zantac Cancer Attorney to discuss your legal options.
Pharmacies Pulled Drugs
Although Valisure notified the FDA of the carcinogen in drugs with ranitidine in June 2019, pharmacies did not start pulling Zantac and generic medications with ranitidine until September 2019, when the FDA warned the pharmacies that it had found “low levels” of the cancer-causing agent in drugs with ranitidine. At the time, the FDA still had not recalled drugs with ranitidine, including Zantac and generic heartburn drugs.
According to a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida, Zantac was developed by Glaxo Smith Kline, now known as Glaxo, and approved by the FDA in 1983. By Dec. 1986, the drug had reached over $1 billion in sales. The plaintiff in the lawsuit stated that he took the drug several times per week since sometime in the 1980s through 2019, when he learned he had kidney cancer. A doctor prescribed the medication, which did not become available for over-the-counter use until 1996. The generic version of the drug became available in 1997. Several others have filed lawsuits against Sanofi and generic manufacturers.
What Is NDMA?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), NDMA is volatile and combustible. It also gives off toxic fumes when it is heated to the point it decomposes. Its primary use is to cause tumors in experimental animals.
Cooking some foods, especially foods cured with the preservative sodium nitrite, causes NDMA to form. NDMA can cause severe irritation when exposed to the skin. According to the NIH, NDMA is a known carcinogen. The NIH and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that NDMA is a “suspected human carcinogen,” yet allowed its use in Zantac and generic drugs, and allows manufacturers to continue using sodium nitrite and other chemicals in our food.
Sanofi and Generic Drug Manufacturers May Be Responsible for Zantac-Related Cancer
Because the EPA has known that NDMA causes cancer and actively uses the agent to cause tumors in lab animals, the FDA knew or should have known that NDMA was not a safe agent; thus, it should have known that drugs containing ranitidine could cause cancer in humans. Sanofi and other drug manufacturers also knew or should have known that NDMA could cause cancer in humans and should not have used the agent in Zantac and other drugs.
Zantac Cancer Lawsuits
If you have cancer and suspect that it was caused by taking Zantac or a similar generic drug, you may have a case against the drug manufacturer. You can join the class action lawsuit, or you can file a separate lawsuit alone; However, should you decide to join a class action lawsuit, you cannot file your own lawsuit. You also share the compensation for damages with others—potentially millions of others. You may not get enough to cover your losses, especially if you are actively fighting cancer or lost a loved one to cancer caused by ranitidine.
If you suffer from cancer or other bodily damage because of Zantac and/or a generic drug that is similar and/or contains ranitidine, you might recover damages. Virginia allows for three types of damages: Economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages, sometimes referred to as special damages, have a fixed price. They include:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Past and future lost wages;
- Medical devices such as ambulatory aids and devices such as ports that allow you to get chemotherapy treatments without sticking a needle in your arm every time; and
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as general damages, do not have a fixed price and may include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress (living with cancer could cause depression and/or anxiety);
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Inconvenience, if you have to hire someone to do everyday activities and chores you normally do.
A court orders economic damages and non-economic damages in an attempt to make you whole again. While the money cannot remove the fact that you suffered from or are suffering from cancer or the other issues the drug causes, it can reduce some of the financial stress you undergo when you can no longer work due to cancer or other ailments and their treatments.
The court may also award punitive damages in some cases; You must be able to show that the company’s actions were grossly negligent, which would mean that the companies manufacturing the drugs had a complete disregard of care to its consumers. Punitive damages are infrequently awarded, and are also capped under Virginia law.
If you suffered from or are suffering from cancer or liver failure, or you lost a loved one due to liver failure or cancer because of Zantac or another drug containing ranitidine, arrange a free consultation with an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible.