Many people in Ohio have taken a drug commonly called Zantac for issues with heartburn. Zantac, which is the generic drug ranitidine, has been the subject of several class action lawsuits in recent years. The lawsuits have come after ranitidine products were recalled for containing a possible carcinogen.
Drug companies may have known about carcinogen for decades
Ranitidine drugs contain a chemical compound called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, which is believed to cause cancer when it accumulates in the body at high levels. Though several drug companies recalled their NDMA-containing products in 2019, plaintiffs in the class action lawsuits say that these companies were aware of the risks for a long time before they issued recalls.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration began investigating ranitidine in 2019 and told ranitidine manufacturers to recall their products in April 2020. However, plaintiffs who were diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac and other ranitidine drugs say that these companies concealed research on the dangers of ranitidine for decades.
What the drug companies are arguing
Drug manufacturers Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Inc and Boehringer Ingelheim have suffered several legal defeats in the Zantac litigation. However, these companies are continuing to argue that plaintiffs have not adequately proven a link between drug use and cancer.
One argument that is being used by GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi is that plaintiffs have not established a specific level of NDMA exposure that would increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. Plaintiffs are seeking reimbursement for cancer screenings that were needed after taking ranitidine.
More than 100,000 claims
Hundreds of thousands of people have joined the class action lawsuits against ranitidine drug manufacturers. These plaintiffs are people that developed cancer or had to undergo cancer monitoring after taking Zantac and other ranitidine drugs.