Sanofi-Aventis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi U.S. Services Inc. and Chattem, Inc. face a new Zantac class action lawsuit alleging that the pharmaceutical companies defrauded and deceived consumers for years by manufacturing and distributing a medication that contained cancer-causing agents. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month by John Scholl, Brad Hoag and Ryan Dahl, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, and seeks class action status to pursue damages on behalf of consumers who bought and used Zantac for years, unaware that the medication could increase their risk of developing cancer. If you or someone you know was diagnosed with stomach cancer, bladder cancer or another type of cancer and you believe Zantac to be the cause, do not hesitate to seek legal help. Contact an experienced Zantac cancer lawyer today to find out if you qualify for a Zantac lawsuit.
Zantac (ranitidine) is one of the best-selling heartburn and acid reflux medications on the market. It was introduced in the United States in the 1980s and doctors write more than 15 million prescriptions for the drug every year, while countless consumers struggling with heartburn, acid reflux and other conditions caused by too much acid in the stomach buy it over the counter. To date, most versions of the drug have been removed from the market, due to concerns about the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a carcinogenic substance linked to kidney cancer, bladder cancer, stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer and other cancers along the digestive tract. According to a growing body of evidence, the potential for Zantac to increase the risk of cancer in users is tied to the drug’s active ingredient, ranitidine, which has been found to contain unacceptable levels of NDMA after testing.
Since September, almost all versions of brand-name Zantac and generic ranitidine products have been recalled due to the potential risk of harmful NDMA exposure in users. In response to this wave of Zantac recalls, consumers across the country have begun to pursue legal claims against Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim over side effects they believe were caused by Zantac, including stomach cancer, bladder cancer and kidney cancer. Plaintiffs in the Zantac litigation allege that the drug manufacturing companies knew about the presence of cancer-causing chemicals in Zantac and ranitidine and engaged in fraud by deliberately keeping this information from consumers and the medical community.
“Both Sanofi and Boehringer knew or had reason to know that Zantac exposes users to unsafe levels of the carcinogen NDMA,” this latest class action lawsuit states. “During the period that Sanofi and Boehringer manufactured and distributed Zantac, numerous scientific studies were published showing, among other things, that ranitidine (the generic bioequivalent of Zantac) forms NDMA when placed in drinking water and that a person who consumes ranitidine has a 400-fold increase of NDMA concentration in their urine.” Despite evidence showing that Zantac treatment could expose users to unsafe levels of NDMA and potentially increase their risk of cancer, neither Sanofi nor Boehringer disclosed this risk on the drug label or by any other means.
The presence of NDMA in Zantac and ranitidine medications was first discovered by Valisure, when the online pharmacy tested the drugs for quality and consistency issues and found “extremely high levels of N-Nitrososdimethylamine (“NDMA”), a probable human carcinogen, in every lot tested, across multiple manufacturers and dosage forms of the drug ranitidine.” In September 2019, Valisure, filed a Citizen Petition with the FDA, indicating that the pharmacy had detected NDMA at levels more than 30,000 times the FDA’s permissible daily intake limit for the carcinogen, “likely due to an inherent instability of the ranitidine molecule.” In the petition, Valisure requested that the FDA issue a Zantac recall and investigate the potential for the drug to form NDMA when digested by the body.
In addition to this new class action lawsuit, dozens of other Zantac lawsuits have been filed against Sanofi and Boehringer on behalf of Zantac users who developed stomach cancer, bladder cancer and other cancers of the digestive tract. Each lawsuit involves similar allegations that the cancers developed as the ranitidine contained in Zantac broke down into NDMA inside the body and that the drug makers could have prevented these potentially life-threatening side effects in users had they not failed to warn users that Zantac could expose them to unsafe levels of the carcinogen NDMA. “Had Defendants disclosed that Zantac results in unsafe levels of NDMA in the human body,” the lawsuit states, “no person, let alone a reasonable person, would have purchased and consumed Zantac.”