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Heartburn Sufferers Are Patiently Awaiting Zantac Cancer Trials

Bellweather Zantac (ranitidine) trials could influence jurors and could force a settlement offer

Monday, March 22, 2021 - While the country awaits the first Zantac cancer lawsuits to make their way to court, developments are happening that could impact the trials. In February 2020, all Zantac lawsuits filed in federal court were consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern Florida District Court. Cases grouped into MDL are each considered independently, unlike a class-action lawsuit. Plaintiffs claim that using Zantac regularly and for a long time caused them to develop many different types of cancer, such as cancer of the stomach, bladder, esophagus, prostate, colon, breast, and many others. Plaintiffs have filed product liability, personal injury, and wrongful death claims against GalaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, two of the makers of Zantac.

On April 1, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered all ranitidine products including Zantac, which Sanofi voluntarily removed before the order, be removed from store shelves at Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, and demanded pharmacists stop dispensing the medicine. Zantac has been found to contain dangerously high levels of NDMA and is suspected of causing cancer. Today, over one year after the initial findings, it is suspected but not confirmed that ranitidine is an unstable compound and breaks down to form nitrosamines when stored at high temperatures or when the compound interacts with nitrates in the stomach. Scientists are conducting studies into what makes levels of NDMA skyrocket, however, it may be up to juries to decide the reason. Experts have ruled out Zantac could have been contaminated at the source of manufacturing in China and India.

Zantac cancer litigation could become one of the largest mass tort court actions ever, given that more than $15 million people per year were taking Zantac at the time of the recall. Legal experts think that once the first round of bellwether trial has concluded that the companies may make a settlement off to the remainder of outstanding plaintiffs, a number expected to grow to be in the tens of thousands. The total settlement offer could be in the $5 billion to $10 billion range. Sanofi and GSK are under federal investigation and are accused of knowing about the unstable nature of ranitidine and lying to federal health agencies. The outcome of the Department of Justice inquiry could have an impact on jurors in future court cases.

With Zantac removed from store shelves, the FDA has recommended that heartburn and acid indigestion sufferers look to make positive diet and lifestyle changes to help ease their pain. There are also temporary, immediate heartburn medicines like Maalox, Tums, and others that could offer temporary relief. Protein pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs like Prilosec and Nexium must be taken in advance and could benefit chronic acid indigestion sufferers. Doctors advise patients that if the symptoms of acid indigestion and heartburn persist, it could indicate a more serious problem with the gastrointestinal system and if left untreated could cause esophageal or other cancer.

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Lawyers for Zantac Heartburn Medicine Lawsuits

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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