A U.S. district judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, has been assigned to oversee dozens of lawsuits filed against makers of the heart burn drug ranitidine, known by the brand name Zantac, after testing last fall revealed several over-the-counter and prescription drugs containing ranitidine were found to cause NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine), classified as a probable human carcinogen, to form in the body after ingestion. The findings led to numerous ranitidine recalls in the months that followed. The consumers say that the drug companies should have known their products contained the impurity and warned the public.
It is the first multidistrict litigation (MDL) U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg has been assigned. Experts say the number of claimants could soar to at least 100,000. More than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month. About 15 million of them take prescription ranitidine, and countless more regularly take over-the-counter versions of the drug.
In September, independent pharmacy Valisure notified the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it “detected extremely high levels” of NDMA in “every lot tested, across multiple manufacturers and dosage forms of the drug ranitidine.” Its findings resulted in a wave of recalls from dozens of brand-name and generic Zantac manufacturers.
NDMA, or N-notrosodimethylamine, has been found “in laboratory research to induce tumors in experimental animals,” according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Some cancers that may be related to NDMA include stomach, small intestine, bladder, kidney, colorectal, esophageal, prostate, pancreatic, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. No study has been published to date that provides any specific risk for any particular cancer.
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, bladder or pancreas. If you or a loved one may have been affected, please contact us.