In the fall of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted the public that levels of a likely cancer-causing chemical were detected in Zantac and other ranitidine products. The popular heartburn medication was prescribed more than 15 million times a year before the discovery of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a substance linked to cancer.
NDMA was first detected in ranitidine products by an online pharmacy called Valisure. According to Valisure, ranitidine contained levels of NDMA that were significantly higher than what the FDA states is a safe daily limit of the chemical. This has worried consumers, healthcare providers, and researchers about the link between Zantac and cancer.
Several Zantac lawsuits have been filed in Georgia and other parts of the country. The most successful cases represent individuals who took Zantac for years and developed cancer much later. Here’s what you need to know about Zantac lawsuits and recalls.
Understanding Zantac Lawsuits
As of early 2020, hundreds of Zantac lawsuits have been filed against the pharmaceutical manufacturers behind Zantac and other ranitidine products. The lawsuits allege that the drugmakers failed to warn healthcare providers and the public at large of the potential dangers of taking Zantac.
Some lawsuits also claim that the chemical structure of ranitidine is inherently unstable and likely to break down into NMDA once it enters the human body. This has researchers and other professionals concerned about the number of people who may develop cancer as a result of taking Zantac.
Has Zantac Been Recalled?
Although the FDA has not formally issued Zantac recalls, the public health agency urged pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily recall any products that contain levels of NDMA. The agency is calling for drug manufacturers to test their own products and voluntarily remove NDMA-tainted ranitidine medications from the market.
After the FDA’s warning announcement about NDMA and Zantac, pharmacies like Rite Aid, CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens pulled ranitidine products from their shelves. More than a dozen manufacturers of Zantac and ranitidine followed suit by issuing voluntary recalls due to suspected levels of NDMA.
Zantac Recall List
There have already been several voluntary Zantac or ranitidine recalls to date. It’s likely there will be more to come. Nearly all of the Zantac recalls were issued because of unsafe levels of NDMA in the medications.
Here is a complete list of Zantac recalls to date, starting with the earliest to the most recent:
- Sandoz Inc.
- Apotex Corp.
- Perrigo Company
- Dr. Reddy’s, Kroger, Walgreens, and others
- Lannett Company Inc.
- Novitium Pharma
- Aurobindo & DG Health
- GSMS Incorporated
- Glenmark Pharmaceuticals
- Appco Pharma
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals
- American Health Packaging
Named Defendants In Zantac Lawsuits
Many Zantac lawsuits allege that drugmakers like Sanofi, the brand name manufacturer of Zantac, were aware of the dangers of NDMA in their products but failed to warn consumers. People who develop cancer after taking Zantac can file a claim against drugmakers to receive compensation for their injury or loss.
The named defendants in current Zantac lawsuits includes:
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC
- Sanofi U.S. Services
- Chattem Inc.
The Grounds For A Zantac Lawsuit
As a plaintiff in a Georgia Zantac lawsuit, you can sue drug manufacturers for a failure to warn or a defective design.
Failure to warn claims allege that the Zantac label needed to be updated to reflect the cancer-causing risk of NDMA in the medication. Because the label failed to warn of NDMA and the risk of cancer, both doctors and patients were unaware of the dangers. If they were made aware of the risks, they may have selected a different medication.
Zantac defective design claims assert that the chemical structure of Zantac or ranitidine is flawed by design. Some lawsuits claim that the molecules in ranitidine could convert into NDMA after someone takes a regular dose of Zantac. If ranitidine can cause cancer because of how the medication was designed, then any manufacturer could be held liable.
Compensation In A Georgia Zantac Lawsuit
After filing a Zantac lawsuit in Georgia, a lawyer will try to help you recover damages for your injury or loss.
If you have cancer and took Zantac regularly, you could receive compensation for:
- medical expenses associated with your injury
- wage losses from missing work
- losing enjoyment of life
- treatment and recovery expenses associated with your cancer
- general pain and suffering
- punitive damages (compensation that punishes the defendant for negligence)
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Does Zantac Cause Cancer?
Due to the presence of NDMA in ranitidine products like Zantac, these medications are now linked with cancer. Due to the potential risk for cancer, the FDA has said that consumers should consult with their doctors and consider changing medications.
Several primary cancers are linked to NDMA in Zantac, including:
- stomach cancer
- bladder cancer
- colorectal cancer
- lung cancer
- liver cancer
- pancreatic cancer
- blood-related cancers
- esophageal cancer
What We Know About NDMA And Cancer
Government health agencies, including the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, highlight the potential dangers of NDMA. Although evidence is limited when it comes to NDMA causing cancer in humans, there is evidence that shows NDMA can cause cancer in lab animals.
The agency suggests that exposure to NDMA, especially over long periods of time, could lead to cancer in people. Since the exposure of NDMA to lab animals led to cancer, organ defects, and death, it’s reasonable to assume that someone who took Zantac for one year or more may be at risk for cancer.
Although the chemical NDMA is also found in water and foods like meat, dairy products, and vegetables, it’s classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer in humans). What’s more, the levels of NDMA that enter the human body after taking Zantac are unknown, but could pose a significant risk to people on the medication.
Zantac And Valsartan Lawsuits: Differences And Similarities
NDMA was also detected in a blood pressure medication called valsartan. There are similarities between Zantac and valsartan lawsuits and recalls because of the discovery of the likely cancerous chemical in both medications.
However, there is a key difference. The valsartan lawsuits alleged that NDMA contaminated the medication because of a flawed manufacturing process. Zantac lawsuits, however, assert that NDMA is built in to the molecular structure of ranitidine. This means that, by design, Zantac will inevitably convert into NDMA once it enters the human body, increasing the risk of cancer.
For this reason, legal experts believe that the number of Zantac lawsuits will significantly exceed the number of valsartan lawsuits. Thousands of people have filed Zantac lawsuits across the country, and hundreds of cases are expected to be filed in Georgia.
How To File A Zantac Lawsuit In Georgia
To file a Zantac lawsuit in Georgia, you’ll need to meet at least three conditions:
- you used Zantac
- you were diagnosed with cancer
- you can establish a connection between your Zantac use and cancer
If you were given a prescription for Zantac, you can use your medical records to show you were advised to take the medication. Your medical records could also prove your cancer diagnosis, which could be any of the primary cancers listed on this page.
Establishing a connection between Zantac and your cancer is a bit trickier. However, if you took Zantac regularly for at least a year before you developed cancer, a qualified and skilled lawyer can likely establish a connection in a personal injury lawsuit.
Georgia Zantac Personal Injury Lawsuits
In Georgia, filing a Zantac lawsuit is similar to filing any kind of personal injury claim. Personal injury lawsuits try to collect compensation from the party responsible for causing the plaintiff injury or harm. These lawsuits must prove that the defendant or accused party was liable, or legally responsible, for causing your injuries.
For Zantac lawsuits, personal injury claims will try to prove that drug manufacturers were responsible for causing your cancer. In this case, your lawyer will make the argument that the Zantac drugmaker’s negligence resulted in your cancer diagnosis. If successful, you’ll be compensated for your loss or injury.
Georgia Zantac Wrongful Death Claims
If someone you love died because of a cancer diagnosis that resulted from taking Zantac, then you can also file a wrongful death claim in Georgia. Wrongful death claims, which fall under personal injury law, will also try to hold Zantac manufacturers liable for their negligence that played a role in your loved one’s death.
Georgia Zantac Class Action Lawsuits
A class action lawsuit represents a large number of people who have filed similar claims against one or more companies responsible for causing harm. There are currently several Zantac class action lawsuits in various states, with more likely to be filed around the country.
However, those involved in a Zantac class action lawsuit do not have a diagnosis of cancer. These plaintiffs are only seeking damages to recover the money they spent on ranitidine products. If you have cancer that may have been caused by Zantac, you’re likely better served by filing an individual lawsuit that could become part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
Zantac Multidistrict Litigation
Due to the high volume of individual Zantac lawsuits being filed, many cases have joined a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in South Florida. As of early 2020, 15 Zantac lawsuits were consolidated into MDL. MDL streamlines pretrial and discovery proceedings into a single court where one judge oversees the litigation.
Although cases are consolidated in an MDL, each individual case remains separate. This way plaintiffs can receive the appropriate damages for their particular case. MDL also makes it possible for thousands of more Zantac lawsuits to join, regardless of where the plaintiff lives.
Zantac Lawyers Serving Georgia And The U.S.
It’s unacceptable that patients and doctors were never able to consider the risks of taking a medication that could cause cancer. Thousands of people who took ranitidine products have been diagnosed with cancer, and thousands more may never realize the connection between Zantac and their illness.
At Florin|Roebig, we’ll help you file a claim to hold the drugmakers accountable for putting an unsafe medication on the market.
Our team of trusted Zantac lawyers serving Georgia and the U.S. includes:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Chase P. Florin, B.C.S.
- Shaun M. Cummings
- Luca G. Esposito
- Chad K. Florin, M.B.A., LL.M.
- Nicholas S. Costantino
- John J. Hart
- Michael A. Ossi, O.C.
- Lawrence J. Najem, O.C.
- Andrew M. Leone, O.C.
- Nollys R. Solarte, O.C.
- Brian R. Dettman, O.C.
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Contact Florin|Roebig To File A Zantac Lawsuit Today
At Florin|Roebig, we represent clients across the United States. We’re a multi-state law firm that can accept cases from Georgia and take your individual claim into account. Our offices offer a free case evaluation to help you decide if moving forward with a claim is in your best interest.
To learn more about your options for Zantac litigation, or to start your free case evaluation, please contact the offices of Florin|Roebig today.