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Scientific Hearings Will Start This September To Interview Zantac Cancer Expert Witnesses

Bellwether trials could start in the second quarter of 2023 after the MDL judge approves experts from both sides

Thursday, May 19, 2022 - Multidistrict litigation presided over by U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg in the Southern District of Florida has organized more than 125000 plaintiffs that accuse Zantac heartburn and acid reflux medicine of causing cancer and other illnesses. The purpose of MDL is first to streamline court procedures and avoid replicating court routines thousands of times. Second, MDL allows the judge to evaluate the complex scientific evidence that is intended to be presented at trial. The judge will interview expert witnesses that both sides intend will give testimony. The judge may take six months or more to investigate every detail of the experts' testimony and decide on about 2 or 3 from each side that will be permitted to present their side of the story to a jury. It is not the responsibility of the MDL judge to decide which side's science is right or wrong, as that will be left up to each jury individually should the MDL get that far. It is more likely that the science could be so definitive that the defendants will offer a settlement rather than risk lottery-size jury awards at trial. Daubert hearings will be conducted in September 2022, right on schedule, where the judge in the heartburn medicine cancer litigation hears from both sides. GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Sanofi, and other manufacturers of Zantac have been named in Zantac lawsuits accusing the companies of failing to warn heartburn sufferers that ranitidine, the main ingredient in Zantac, is an inherently unstable molecule and may degrade into N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) during the shipping and storing process if temperatures or humidity are too high.

Zantac Daubert hearings may center around the scientific testimony of David C. Light, the CEO of the online prescription drug testing pharmacy Valisure Inc. The company's tests mirrored ones that were similar to the FDA's ranitidine tests and found levels of NDMA orders of magnitude greater than the 96 nanograms per day the FDA recommended as safe. The defendants challenge Valisure's testing methods as inept to the extent that the tests themselves overheated the ranitidine samples and caused the NDMA spikes. The FDA recalled Zantac in 2020 after retesting Zantac and failing to duplicate the Valisure findings. One FDA scientist was astonished when the Valisure ranitidine tests were reviewed stating that the test samples were charred and burned. The FDA tests showed ranitidine levels that were more or less in line with their previous findings but decided to recall the compound because they agreed that overheating could cause such a carcinogenic NDMA spike and that there were no safeguards in place to ensure the drug's safe handling. Also certain to take center stage is recent revelations by a Chinese drug company whistleblower that his company hid evidence of finding elevated levels of NDMA in blood pressure medicine tables that were contaminated during the overseas manufacturing process. Overseas NDMA contamination is suspected because drugs including blood pressure, heartburn, and diabetes that are sold in the US contain about 85% foreign ingredients, manufactured abroad where there is no FDA regulation or oversight.

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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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