Zantac and Cancer: What You Need to Know
If you used Zantac (ranitidine) and were later diagnosed with cancer, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Zantac is a common heartburn medication available in prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) versions. It is an H2 blocker, which means it reduces gastrointestinal acidity by blocking histamine receptors in the stomach. Zantac relieves symptoms associated with peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and related conditions. Countless heartburn sufferers took this drug for many years.
On April 1st, 2020, the FDA officially recalled all Zantac and ranitidine products, including OTC and prescription versions. The FDA based its decision on compelling evidence that Zantac contains a cancer-causing substance called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Plaintiffs began filing the first lawsuits after an online pharmacy, Valisure, published concerning test results and reported them to the FDA.
According to Valisure’s tests, “extremely high levels” of NDMA were present in “every lot tested, across multiple manufacturers” of the drug. Valisure’s tests revealed that Zantac contained more than three million nanograms of NDMA per tablet, which is more than 31,000 times the FDA’s acceptable daily intake limit. The FDA performed similar testing and found unacceptable levels of NDMA in the drug. Lawsuits have also alleged that the manufacturers of Zantac knew of this carcinogenic substance but failed to recall products or warn consumers.
Did You Develop Cancer After Taking Zantac?
If you developed cancer after taking Zantac, you shouldn’t have to bear the burdens of this disease alone. With the right legal representation, you can take action against Zantac’s manufacturer to recover compensation. This includes compensation for the money you have spent on your cancer treatment and for other financial and personal losses, such as lost wages and pain and suffering.
The Zantac cancer attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have the experience and resources to take on deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies, and we’re ready to fight for you. You can take our quiz today to see if you qualify for a Zantac lawsuit or call our defective drug and product liability attorneys for a free consultation at (212) 779-0057.
Zantac Lawsuits: A Timeline of Major Events
Initially marketed by a forerunner of GSK, Zantac has been sold to Pfizer Inc, Boehringer Ingelheim, and, most recently, Sanofi SA. All four drugmakers face lawsuits alleging that Zantac causes cancer, and all four have denied these allegations.
Here’s a timeline of major events since Zantac hit the market:
- 1983: Zantac gets approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
- 1988: Zantac becomes the world’s best-selling drug and one of the first medications ever to exceed $1 billion in annual sales.
- 2019: Concerns arise that ranitidine, Zantac’s active ingredient, degrades over time to form NDMA, a cancer-causing chemical. Some manufacturers and pharmacies halt sales of Zantac.
- 2019: The FDA announces that it has detected “unacceptable levels” of NDMA in samples of drugs containing ranitidine.
- 2020: The FDA pulls all brand-name Zantac and generic versions off the market, citing research that shows NDMA levels in the products increasing over time, potentially becoming unsafe.
- 2022: Drugmakers win a significant victory when a judge dismisses thousands of Zantac cases, stating that the only reliable testing of Zantac showed an “unprovable risk of cancer.”
2023: Numerous additional lawsuits against Zantac manufacturers remain pending in courts across the U.S., including tens of thousands in Delaware.
Why a Zantac Cancer Attorney Is Essential
Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company that manufactured Zantac, has considerable power and resources. If you have a case against Sanofi or any other company that manufactured a ranitidine medication, an experienced product liability attorney can maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation. Your attorney will know what evidence to gather, which documents to submit, and who the best expert witnesses are to prove your case.
If you take legal action against Sanofi or another pharmaceutical company, representatives from their legal team will likely try to ask you questions or have you provide a statement. Do not ever communicate with these drug manufacturers in any way without your attorney present. Their representatives will ask confusing or misleading questions that force you to give answers that weaken your case. You need a lawyer present to coach you and ensure that the manufacturers are not asking improper questions.
Additionally, you should never accept any money from companies like Sanofi without consulting an attorney. They might make you a tempting one-time settlement offer in exchange for dropping your case. However, the amount they offer will likely pale in comparison to the true value of your claim. A Zantac cancer lawyer can evaluate the offer and advise you on whether to accept it, negotiate for a higher amount, or take your case to court.
Hach & Rose, LLP: Your Legal Ally
Hach & Rose, LLP is an accomplished product liability firm with over 100 years of combined experience. We fight hard for our clients and get results, with more than $400,000,000 recovered to date. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we believe that forming respectful, honest, and compassionate relationships with our clients allows us to achieve the best results possible. Our clients are consistently satisfied with the work we perform and our responsiveness to any questions along the way.
Our attorneys have the resources to thoroughly investigate any medical conditions you might have suffered as a result of the drug. We’ll also investigate factors like medical causation, compliance with FDA regulations, and any other elements that could affect your case. Our attorneys are well-versed in class action lawsuits and will fight aggressively on your behalf.
We understand that you might have concerns about the cost of hiring an attorney. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we take on your case at no up-front or out-of-pocket cost, and you only pay us if we win. We collect our fee as a percentage of your overall settlement or verdict at the end of your case, making our services affordable for anyone who needs them. We charge no bills or fees along the way. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us any money.
We also offer free consultations with zero obligation. You can tell us about your situation, ask any questions, and get an idea of your legal options at no charge.
The Link Between Zantac and Cancer
Zantac (ranitidine) is a drug that regulates the stomach’s acid levels. A certain level of stomach acid is necessary to digest food, but sometimes stomachs overproduce acid. This can result in several uncomfortable ailments, such as acid reflux, heartburn, ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Zantac’s manufacturers marketed the drug as an effective reliever of these ailments, available both over-the-counter and by prescription.
Scientific studies have revealed that Zantac and similar ranitidine medications contain a well-known cancer-causing chemical called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Tested samples of Zantac contained very high amounts of NDMA – more than 3,000,000 ng per tablet. According to the FDA, ingesting anything over 96 ng of NDMA on a daily basis is likely carcinogenic.
NDMA is a common ingredient in rocket fuel, aviation, and industrial lubricants. It is also a by-product of various industrial processes, like refining crude oil and sewage treatment. It has also been used during laboratory tests on rats during cancer research. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) have identified NDMA as a probable carcinogen.
The FDA also found that the level of NDMA in ranitidine medications increases over time, even if it is stored in perfect conditions. In warmer or more humid surroundings, the level of NDMA in the product can increase more quickly.
Types of Cancer Associated with NDMA
Many types of cancer are associated with NDMA, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Liver cancer
Contaminated Zantac poses other risks, too. NDMA is a hepatotoxin, which is a toxic chemical that can damage internal organs. Short-term exposure to hepatotoxins can cause liver damage, and long-term exposure can cause tumors. Some common symptoms of exposure to NDMA include headaches, dizziness, fever, nausea, jaundice, vomiting, abdominal cramps, enlarged liver, and reduced function of the kidneys, liver, and lungs.
Other serious effects of NDMA exposure include nervous system disorders, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia or tachycardia), B-12 deficiency, hepatitis, liver failure, low platelet levels, skin rashes, and hair loss. If you have taken Zantac and developed any form of cancer or other serious health condition, you should contact an attorney immediately. You could be entitled to compensation.
Potential Compensation for Zantac Claims
The amount of compensation you can get from a Zantac claim will depend on a variety of factors. In general, plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits can seek two kinds of damages (monetary compensation): economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are measurable financial losses you incurred due to your Zantac-related condition. These include medical expenses, such as the cost of emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, cancer treatments, specialist visits, prescriptions, therapy sessions, and travel expenses for medical appointments. Economic damages can also include lost wages if your condition has prevented you from working and future lost income if it has reduced your ability to work in the future.
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify but just as significant. These are subjective losses without specific dollar values, such as pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Another common non-economic damage you could pursue is loss of consortium, which is a loss of the benefits of a familial or intimate relationship. A knowledgeable Zantac cancer attorney can help with your claim by demonstrating that you deserve non-economic damages and calculating how much you are owed.
Zantac Lawsuit Update
As of late 2023, GSK has been actively settling lawsuits related to its heartburn drug, Zantac.
One notable instance is GSK’s settlement with a California resident, James Goetz, who claimed that his bladder cancer resulted from taking Zantac. This settlement, which occurred in June, prevented the first Zantac bellwether case from going to trial in July. The trial would have been a crucial test of how Zantac cancer claims fare before a jury.
While the details of the settlement remain confidential, this action by GSK indicates its strategy to manage Zantac litigation actively. The settlement could serve as a precedent for the thousands of other cases set to go to trial in the following year.
Analysts estimate that GSK might settle all the Zantac cases against it for about $5 billion by the first quarter of 2024. This estimation reflects the scale and gravity of the claims against GSK. As of the latest reports, GSK had only settled cases in California, with the most recent settlements related to cases scheduled for trial in November. This includes the Cantlay/Harper case, which was set to begin on November 13th, 2023.
Despite these settlements, GSK still faces approximately 79,000 cases in the United States, with the majority of them (around 73,000) in Delaware. This latest set of Zantac cases in Delaware is scheduled to begin in January 2024.
Given the complexity and scale of these recent developments, you need and deserve a seasoned lawyer if you believe you have a Zantac cancer lawsuit. A lawyer can evaluate your claim’s strength and guide you through the legal process, ensuring you meet all deadlines and requirements. They can handle all the legal details and keep you updated on litigation developments and settlement opportunities.
Take Action – Contact a Zantac Cancer Attorney Today
Pharmaceutical companies have an obligation to produce safe and effective drugs for the public and must be held accountable if they cause harm. If you have taken the heartburn medication Zantac or an equivalent ranitidine generic and subsequently received a cancer diagnosis, you could be eligible for compensation. A skilled product liability lawyer can help you get it.
Hach & Rose, LLP is dedicated to holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for the damage they have caused. We are proud of our record of helping those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs. If you know or suspect you have a Zantac cancer claim, don’t delay. There is no risk in allowing an attorney to review your situation, and the faster we can start working on your case, the sooner we can get you the results you deserve.