Best-selling drug worldwide
It is the responsibility of the producer of any commodity to assure the customer’s health and safety during and after the use of the commodity. Zantac has for years been the go-to medicinal solution for millions of people suffering from heartburns worldwide. After its FDA approval in 1983, Zantac grew so popular that it became the best-selling drug globally within a few years, raking over 1 billion dollars in revenue.
An H2 and H3 remedy
Zantac became immensely popular because of the benefits of its main constituent compound Ranitidine. Ranitidine is classified under a category of drugs known as H2 blockers because of its anti-acid properties. It also belongs to the H3 class because it is an antihistamine. As an antacid, Ranitidine is used to regulate and prevent excessive production of acid in the stomach, thereby curing intestine and stomach ulcers.
Its role as an antihistamine is closely tied to its antacid function as well. When histamine is produced during an allergic reaction, it stimulates gastric acid secretion in the stomach. Histamine can therefore lead to corrosion of the stomach if gastric acid is produced excessively. Therefore, Zantac was regarded as a very beneficial drug to which many people resorted to for heartburn and any other acid-related symptoms.
However, a few decades later, scientists have found that Zantac has adversely affected many of its users’ health. Research has shown that Ranitidine hydrochloride contains unsafe and potentially harmful levels of NDMA, a human carcinogen linked to several types of cancer such as;
- Stomach cancer
- Liver cancer
- Kidney/renal cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Bladder cancer
This is according to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control in the USA.
Scientific probes into Zantac
The discovery was made after the findings of a scientific investigation into the link between Ranitidine and NDMA by an independent lab called Valisure proved that Ranitidine contains this harmful human carcinogen. Valisure’s report sparked further scrutiny of the drug by the Food and Drug Association (FDA). The agency confirmed Valisure’s report and declared that the levels of NDMA found in Zantac were not safe for people.
What is NDMA?
NDMA or N-Nitrosodimethylamine is an odorless liquid with a yellow color. NDMA was initially used industrially as rocket fuel before being prohibited. Despite its other uses as a fabric softener and antioxidant, regulators discovered that it was an environmental pollutant that contaminated water, air, and soil and therefore banned it. What regulators did not anticipate was that NDMA could be produced during such natural processes as the digestion of foods that contain alkylamines.
As part of preventing any further harm to Zantac customers and its other generic equivalents, the FDA and at least 16 distributors announced a voluntary recall of the drug from shelves in 2019. Some of the brands that agreed with the FDA’s request to recall voluntarily include Apotex Corporation, American Health Packaging, Sandoz Inc, Sanofi, and Amneal among many others.
During the intermittent period, the FDA recommended that customers refrain from using Zantac and other Ranitidine medications as the agency continued conducting further investigation. More research, however, only proved that Ranitidine was very harmful. Scientists noted that the drug’s toxicity increased with prolonged storage, especially in hot temperatures. This was the last straw, and the FDA pulled the plug and issued a mandatory recall of Zantac in the second quarter of 2020.
After this discovery, victims countrywide have gone to court and sued the producers of Zantac. Complainants believe that the makers of Zantac were aware of the potential health risks of the drug, but they acted in negligence and went ahead to distribute it for the sake of making profits.
The accusations of negligence are being supported by the fact that shortly after Zantac’s FDA approval for mass production, scientific research established dimethylamine (DMA) was present in the then-popular antacid. Many foods contain chemicals like nitrates and nitrites, and scientists found that the chemical reaction of these substances with DMA resulted in the formation of NDMA.
Patients also received warnings when buying Zantac to seek medical attention if they experienced any severe repercussions such as blurred vision, extreme fatigue, jaundice, abdominal pain, and irregular heartbeat after using Zantac. Zantac lawsuits cite this and the fact that manufacturers ignored research and continued mass-producing the drug as proof producers were aware of the potential harm Zantac could cause.
Ready for litigation
Many law firms across the country have come forward and offered to help people who developed cancer and were users of the drug between 1983 and 2020 to file Zantac lawsuits. Sanofi, one of the largest manufacturers of Zantac and several other companies, is being accused of deliberate corporate negligence for selling Zantac and other Ranitidine medications to consumers without warning them of the presence of the harmful NDMA and the grave danger they were exposing themselves to.
Lawyers are persuaded that Zantac is the probable and principal cause in the case of patients who developed cancer after using the drug. Lawyers maintain this position because apparently, a significant number of patients diagnosed with cancer and who at one time used Zantac claim that they are not genetically inclined to develop cancer as they lack any family history of the killer illness.
Who qualifies to file a suit?
To be eligible to file a Zantac lawsuit, a complainant has to have valid payment receipts that show they indeed purchased Zantac or its other generic variants. Medical records proving the prescription of the drug are also allowed as evidence.
Secondly, the claimants must have either taken Zantac in high doses or for a protracted period of time, at least one year, for them to file a Zantac lawsuit.
This is because there is a direct correlation between taking higher amounts of the drug and a higher probability of developing cancer.
Why you should enlist the services of an attorney to file a Zantac lawsuit?
Various reasons could make you consider taking legal action against Zantac manufacturers minus the services of an attorney.
However, it is in your best interest to have an attorney to stand any chances of being compensated.
The fact that the defendants are large, powerful pharma-companies with a lot of resources at their disposal necessitates a qualified attorney’s services. This is because those companies will assemble the best legal defense team to protect them. Without a legal expert to help you prepare a strong case, it won’t be easy to win your case.
Also, many legal complexities arise from a product liability case of such colossal magnitude. Therefore, you’ll need an expert that is well-versed with legal procedure to evaluate your case and provide you with all the necessary information and professional advice and guidance to win the case, whether you accept a settlement or choose to proceed to court.
Compensation for Damages
The Zantac lawsuits filed by lawyers on behalf of complainants from different states are all being consolidated in Florida in federal court. While most complainants are suing Zantac’s manufacturers for exposing them to cancer and demanding compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, some suits are only demanding refunds for the customers for the money they spent on buying Zantac.
The economic damages being cited in Zantac lawsuits include expenditure on medical treatment from diagnosis to hospitalization and medication, jeopardized future earning capacity, and other recurrent costs associated with the victim’s incapacity to do tasks on their own. The non-economic damage, on the other hand, is the physical pain and resultant emotional stress of developing cancer.
Because an out-of-court settlement is one way plaintiffs can get restitution, criteria for awarding the compensation are required. Plaintiffs will receive compensation according to the type and severity of cancer they were diagnosed with, their expenditure on medical services, forfeited income, and the impact the diagnosis has had on their lives. The settlements will be negotiated as either global settlements or inventory settlements.
Once a complainant has agreed on a settlement amount, they are not allowed to make any demands for any extra payment in the future. In the event a plaintiff disagrees with the settlement amount allocated to them, they can proceed to litigate the case in court.
FAQs about Zantac Lawsuits
Why didn’t the FDA discover earlier Zantac was unsafe if it tests all drugs before approval?
The FDA is charged with the responsibility of evaluating whether medicinal drugs pose any health risk to users. The evaluation is not a one-off event but rather a continuous process so that the agency can understand the drug better and detect any potential risks that the initial assessment may not have uncovered.
The FDA, therefore, maintains that the issue is not whether or not it conducted a thorough evaluation, but the fact that up until 2019, the NDMA levels in Zantac were acceptable and did not pose any serious health repercussions to users or increase their risk of getting cancer.
That is why upon the discovery that NDMA levels increase when Zantac and other Ranitidine drugs are exposed to higher temperatures and/or stored for extended periods, the FDA instructed that companies will only be allowed to restock the drugs once they prove that time and temperature no longer have a bearing on the levels of the human carcinogen in their products.
Are the adverse health effects of NDMA limited to cancer only?
While cancer is the most disruptive and life-altering consequence of being exposed to high NDMA levels in Ranitidine medications, it is not the only health problem that can be brought about by this probable human carcinogen. Other health complications can include an irregular heart rate, internal bleeding and liver damage, higher susceptibility to pneumonia, hepatitis, loss of hair, skin rashes, disorders of the nervous system, and a reduction in platelet levels.
What is the effect of Ranitidine medication on animals, especially pets?
Due to the negative health effects of Zantac usage in humans, the FDA has accordingly raised concerns over the possible repercussions of treating pets and other animals using Ranitidine-based medications too. The FDA has therefore recommended that manufacturers of such animal medication evaluate the safety of their products. The agency has also recommended that pet-owners seek more clarification from their veterinary doctors over the risks associated with continuing to use Ranitidine-based medication to treat their animals and what the possible alternatives are.
Are there any victims who have been compensated already?
Not yet. This is because Zantac lawsuits are not class-action suits but rather individual lawsuits that will be presented in court as MDLs. Therefore, all parties involved have to wait until Bellwether trials determine what amount of compensation complainants should demand.
The Covid-19 pandemic has obviously delayed the litigation process because the juries cannot convene to carry forward with the Bellwether trials but everything is being done to ensure that the intended timelines are adhered to.
What legal action can Zantac users without a cancer diagnosis take?
All lawsuits that are being consolidated into MDLs and presented to the Florida federal court are strictly for Zantac users with cancer diagnoses. Those who bought Zantac or other Ranitidine medication but have not developed cancer are filing class-action suits to demand refunds as they purchased the products without knowledge of the potential side effects. The first plaintiffs to file a class action lawsuit did so in the Northern District of California Federal Court on 13th September 2019.
What type of suits are the Zantac lawsuits?
Contrary to what many people might think, Zantac lawsuits are not class action lawsuits just because they involve many plaintiffs. The Zantac lawsuits are essentially separate, individual lawsuits that will be presented to court consolidated in MDLs (Multi-district Litigation) before they proceed for Bellwether trials. The elementary difference between MDLs and class action suits is that in MDLs the cases are separate whereas in class action they are presented as one.
How do MDL settlements work?
After all individual lawsuits have been consolidated into MDLs and the bellwether trials have taken place to determine compensation, the settlements will be negotiated as either global settlements or inventory settlements.
Under global settlements, a fixed amount of money will be paid by the accused companies and then the sum divided among the complainants using a formula that will be agreed upon by their lawyers.
Inventory settlements are a little less rigid as the complainants stipulate a certain minimum that they are willing to accept but their attorneys have the liberty of negotiating for larger sums. Plaintiffs have then entitled to a cut of the bonus in the event the attorneys get the defendants to pay an amount in excess of the plaintiff’s minimum.
We are here to help you
Strictly speaking, there’s no sum of money that can be considered large enough to pay for cancer. However, monetary compensation is the only way through which people who have developed cancer as a result of using Zantac can get restitution. By being compensated, victims are able to recoup the money they spent on treatment and medication, forfeited income due to incapacitation to work, other out-of-pocket expenses, and the disruptive impact that cancer has had on their lives.
We have a team of highly-qualified lawyers with vast experience in product liability as well as personal injury cases available to help you file your Zantac lawsuit. Our lawyers are very competent and are dedicated to providing quality legal services to ensure a favorable and satisfactory outcome for your lawsuit. We firmly believe in the rule of law and as such, we are committed to upholding all fundamental human rights by ensuring that you are fairly treated and justly compensated.
Our lawyers will provide legal services that include but are not limited to;
1. Providing you with expert legal advice and guidance
2. Filing of all requisite documents in court on time
3. Preparing a strong case by collecting irrefutable evidence to support the grounds of your Zantac lawsuit
4. An accurate valuation of both the economic and non-economic costs you have endured as a consequence of using Zantac
5. Professional and effective negotiation for your settlement so that it is satisfactory for you
6. Representing you in court in the event you find the settlement terms unsatisfactory and choose to proceed with litigation
7. Representing you in case the defendants appeal the case
Do not fail to approach us to hire our services out of worry that you may not afford our fees. We will evaluate your case for free and also provide our services on a contingent fee basis. This way, you will not have to worry about remunerating us until you get a favorable outcome from your lawsuit. Reach out to us today if you have been harmed by Zantac and let us assist you in getting the justice you deserve.