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Government Health Officials in The US and Canada Worry Zantac Cancer Could Affect Millions

Zantac users are filing suit alleging that the manufacturer of the heartburn medicine was obligated to warn them of the cancer risks

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - Millions of former Zantac heartburn medicine users are concerned that they may have accidentally developed cancer from taking the drug regularly over previous years. Public fears were stoked when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled all ranitidine drugs sold under a variety of brand names including Zantac because a trusted online testing pharmacy discovered that heating Zantac to high temperatures like those emulating Zantac storage in retail stores, may have caused a certain carcinogen to increase to thousands of times the acceptable level. The FDA tells us that 96 nanograms per tablet which are the equivalent of roughly 0.32 parts per million for ranitidine is an acceptable amount of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), the carcinogen in question. NBC News recently reported that the FDA's stance on NDMA being a possible carcinogen is backed up by the World Health Organization (WHO)'s classifying the contaminant as a "probable human carcinogen. "There is conclusive evidence that NDMA is a potent carcinogen in experimental animals by several routes of exposure, including through ingestion of drinking water. NDMA has been classified by IARC as probably carcinogenic to humans."

And remember that heartburn and acid reflux are serious medical conditions that can lead to esophageal cancer when stomach acid continually back up into the esophagus, trachea, or other parts of the upper GI tract and burn the delicate tissues leading to infection and possibly cancer. For the record, the FDA now advises former Zantac users to consider substituting Zantac with Esomeprazole (Nexium), Lansoprazole (Prevacid), or Omeprazole (Prilosec), in no particular order of preference.

The FDA expressed their ultimate concern over the safety of Zantac by recalling the drug, yet they waited over one month after Sanofi, the maker of Zantac, themselves discontinued selling the drug which, up until then was the world's best-selling heartburn and acid reflux medication taken by over 15 million people per year and earning the company billions of dollars per year in revenues. No one can argue that Sanofi did not do the right thing, however, Zantac cancer lawsuits allege that the company has known or had an obligation to know of the cancer risks many years before and that the company willingly withheld this critical Zantac cancer information from the public. Along those lines, The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline for violating the False Claims Act for failing to report what they knew about the carcinogen.

Canadian health officials have been equally as diligent in alerting consumers about the dangers of Zantac as approximately one in four Canadians take heartburn medicine. Health Canada issued an initial warning in September of 2019 stating, "Health Canada requests that companies stop distributing ranitidine drugs in Canada while it assesses NDMA; some products being recalled, and that it is assessing the issue of an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) detected in some ranitidine drugs. There is no doubt that dangerous levels of the carcinogen NDMA exist in Zantac and that health officials are on top of getting to the bottom of the problem.

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OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. The Onder Law Firm has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.

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