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The Third Strike in the Zantac Lawsuit

In the midst of one of the biggest pandemics in the past 100 years, another health crisis has reached new developments marking an important step in this battle for justice and consumer safety. Various manufacturers including Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim are being accused of manufacturing Zantac, a medication used to deal with acid reflux, with a carcinogenic contaminant that is known to cause specific types of cancer. NDMA, the carcinogen in question that is also a component in rocket fuel and lubricants, can cause liver cancer, kidney cancer, gastric cancer or colorectal cancer.

What happened?

In fall of 2019, a controversial study made by Valisure, an independent pharmacy, showed that ranitidine, which is found in Zantac, contained NDMA at levels equal to 30,000 times the safe amount as prescribed by the FDA. By early 2020, Walmart, Walgreens and CVS removed Zantac from their shelves while four other manufacturers initiated voluntary recalls. Shortly after, Emery Pharma successfully proved the link between heat and the presence of NDMA, indicating that Zantac’s third strike had arrived.

Why bother now?

Zantac is used by millions of Americans every year, therefore the amount of people that may be exposed to this threat is substantial and knowing who is safe or not is challenging. It turns out that ranitidine itself does not have NDMA, so the issue does not lie in its production, but rather in its distribution and sale. Zantac and other ranitidine products are safe when they leave the hands of manufacturers, yet when these products sit in delivery trucks and warehouses at high temperatures for long periods of time NDMA begins to form. Zantac has never had any warnings to indicate sellers or consumers to store these ranitidine containing products in appropriate ways, thus making it hard to know which consumers have not been exposed to this carcinogen. This concern was first outlined in Emery Pharma’s citizen petition. The petition, submitted to the FDA on January 2nd, 2020, had 8 requests including a recall and suspension “of all lots of all products containing ranitidine” as well as asking the FDA to issue a directive to ensure that manufacturers put warning labels on ranitidine products and that ranitidine products are shipped via cold chain, a temperature controlled supply chain.

On April 1st, the FDA responded to the citizen petition, acknowledging Emery Pharma’s findings and partially granting their petition. On the same day, the FDA requested that “manufacturers withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market immediately”. The FDA argues that since the quality of this product cannot be assured for the reasons mentioned above, the product will be withdrawn from the market and made unavailable for “new or existing prescriptions or OTC use in the U.S.”

Can I get compensation?

The NDMA found in Zantac has been linked to the development of the following cancers:

  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Gastric
  • Colorectal
  • Stomach
  • Prostate
  • Throat
  • Esophageal
  • Nasal
  • Kidney (Renal Cell)
  • Pancreatic
  • Lung
  • Testicular
  • And others

If you or a loved one has been consuming Zantac and has developed any of the mentioned cancers, then you should consider joining or filing a lawsuit to receive compensation. In order to qualify for compensation, you must be able to prove the use of Zantac and be diagnosed with at least one of the cancers listed above. Both can be proven using medical records. Additionally, a cause and effect must be provable between the regular basis, long term, use of Zantac and cancer. Other cancer-causing activities such as smoking may hinder this link.

However, if you feel as if you may qualify or want to inquire if you can receive compensation please reach out at 954-384-6114 so we can inform you of your legal rights.

Our team at Oppenheim Law recognizes the emotional burden these illnesses can have on families. That’s why our firm is committed to representing our clients, providing the best team of professionals to represent them.

From the trenches,

Roy Oppenheim

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