Heartburn Medication Recalls Due to Cancer Risk: Zantac Litigation Update

What you should know:

  • The generic name for the drug Zantac is ranitidine.
  • The medication may contain a cancer-causing chemical.
  • Multiple ranitidine medications have been recalled.
  • Lawsuits have been filed by individuals who have taken Zantac and developed cancer.
  • The lawsuits accuse drug makers of manufacturing, marketing and selling a product they knew or should have known had a chemical known to cause cancer, yet did nothing to warn consumers.
  • Contact Borgess Law at (567) 455-5955 or toll-free at (844) LAW-9144 for a free, confidential and no-obligation consultation if you believe you might have a potential claim.  

Additional details:

On September 13, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) reported that some ranitidine medicines, including some products commonly known as the brand-name drug Zantac, contain a nitrosamine impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”), which is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer).  Since this time, there have been recalls of some ranitidine medicines containing unacceptable levels. Not all ranitidine medicines on the U.S. market have been recalled. Information about ranitidine recalls is available on the FDA’s ranitidine web page.

Ranitidine is an over-the-counter (“OTC”) and prescription drug. Ranitidine is an H2 (histamine-2) blocker, which decreases the amount of acid created by the stomach. Over-the-counter ranitidine is approved to prevent and relieve heartburn associated with acid ingestion and sour stomach. Prescription ranitidine is approved for multiple indications, including treatment and prevention of ulcers of the stomach and intestines and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Multiple Zantac lawsuits have now been filed across the country accusing drug makers, including Sanofi and Boerhringer Ingelheim, of manufacturing, marketing and selling a product they knew or should have known had a chemical known to cause cancer, yet did nothing to warn consumers.  In November, 2019, certain plaintiffs filed a petition for coordination with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, (“JPML”).  Specifically, the petition asks the JPML to consolidate the cases as a “MDL” (multi-district litigation) and to consolidate them in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.  A MDL is a type of legal proceeding that helps federal courts efficiently manage many similar cases filed in many different courts across the U.S. by allowing the temporary transfer of all of the federal civil lawsuits to one or more district courts for pretrial consolidation or coordination.  The JPML is a group of federal judges designated by the Chief Justice of the United States, which has the responsibility for determining which cases qualify for treatment as a MDL, as well as which district court to transfer and consolidate these cases. The transfers are made if the Panel determines that it will result in the convenience of the parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of the cases. Even if consolidated, however, each Zantac case would maintain its own individual identity.  MDLs are not the same as class actions. (For more information about MDLs and the JPML, contact Borgess Law.)  The JPML is expected to consider oral arguments at the end of this month regarding the petition and which jurisdiction would be the best location if an MDL is created.

How we can help if you believe you may have a legal claim:

Borgess Law, LLC is currently reviewing potential legal claims for individuals who have been diagnosed with bladder, stomach or other cancer after taking Zantac or other ranitidine medication.  There is no charge for this review. 

Attorney Pamela A. Borgess, the founder of Borgess Law, LLC, has extensive experience with numerous national high-profile defective medical drug/device cases and can discuss your legal options. For more information about the Zantac litigation or to discuss a potential claim, contact Borgess Law at (567) 455-5955 or toll-free at (844) LAW-9144. You can also contact Borgess Law by submitting an online inquiry. Again, this consultation is free and confidential. We welcome any questions you may have.

*This blog does not contain medical advice and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Please consult with your physician for personalized medical advice, including whether to use or continue using Zantac.