Forty people suing Sanofi-Aventis US, Pfizer Inc., and other drug companies that manufactured the heartburn drug Zantac and generics containing ranitidine alleging the medication caused their cancers are seeking to have their cases consolidated in California, Law360 reported. Together, they would coordinate with the existing Zantac multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in Florida, their attorneys said.

On April 1, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for the withdrawal of all versions of Zantac and generics containing ranitidine after testing revealed that levels of NDMA, an environmental contaminant, could increase to unsafe levels in Zantac even under normal storage conditions. NDMA has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals.

Plaintiffs suing Zantac makers include a woman who claims taking Zantac while pregnant caused her now-8-year-old son to develop testicular cancer. Other plaintiffs say use of the drug caused them to develop bladder cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer and thyroid cancer.

Zantac was first manufactured in the 1970s by GlaxoSmithKline LLC, which is named as a defendant in all Zantac lawsuits. Until the drug was pulled from the market, it was manufactured by Sanofi. The lawsuits name Sanofi and other drug companies including Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals depending upon which version of the drug the plaintiffs took.

The plaintiffs say that GlaxoSmithKline knew as early as the 1980s that NDMA was present in the drug but failed to warn consumers of the probable cancer-causing impurity in the drug.

Beasley Allen attorney Frank Woodson is actively investigating potential claims involving regular Zantac/ranitidine use that may have led to cancer of the stomach, colon, intestines, kidneys, or pancreas. If you or a loved one may have been affected, please contact us.

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