Articles Posted in Defective Drugs

Several blister packs of pillsZantac, a prescription heartburn medication, and its generic equivalent have been under pretty intense scrutiny as of late. Worse than “scrutiny,” really. Questions about whether Zantac and ranitidine, its generic equivalent, arose more than a year ago when an online pharmacy notified the Food and Drug Administration that it had determined that ranitidine use could result in elevated levels of a likely carcinogen. In response, a number of national pharmacies pulled Zantac and its generic equivalent from their shelves, as well as over-the-counter drugs containing ranitidine. A number of generic manufacturers and Sanofi, which makes the prescription drug Zantac in the U.S., recalled drugs containing ranitidine. In April 2020, the FDA asked all manufacturers of products containing ranitidine to pull their drugs from the market. If you have been injured by Zantac or another defective drug, call us today to speak with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.

Is Zantac Dangerous?

While it remains to be proven if Zantac and ranitidine actually cause any kinds of cancer, there is no question that a suspected cancer-causing chemical has been found to be caused at unacceptable levels by ranitidine. The chemical, N-Nitrosodimethylamine, also known as NDMA, is intentionally produced in the U.S. only as a research chemical. Years ago, it was used in rocket fuel, but that practice was discontinued when the air, water, and ground hear a rocket fuel manufacturing plant was found to be laden with NDMA. The chemical sometimes is created unintentionally in the manufacture of other chemicals, as apparently happened during the manufacture of ranitidine, and apparently also can form in the digestive tract of ranitidine users. NDMA is known to be harmful to the liver, and many of the lawsuits against Sanofi and generic ranitidine makers claim the chemical is causing stomach and bladder cancer as well as liver cancer. The suits contend the manufacturers knew about the high levels of NDMA and knew the chemical could cause certain forms of cancer. There are no known cases of NDMA causing cancer in people, but the chemical is listed by an international cancer research group as carcinogenic and is used in research to induce cancer in rats.

A blood pressure monitor, pill case, and medications on a tableEarlier this month, Mylan Pharmaceuticals announced a recall of three blood pressure medications that were found to contain small amounts of a substance believed to cause cancer. The drugs all include a medication called “valsartan” which has been the subject of an ongoing FDA investigation. Mylan, a generic drug company, recalled three medications it has sold: valsartan tablets, and two other tablets that combine valsartan with amlodipine and hydrochlorothiazide. Mylan’s recall is the latest in a series of recalls that began in July.  

FDA Investigation

On December 11th, the FDA stated in a press release that it had sent a warning letter to the Chinese manufacturer of valsartan, ZHP, informing them that they are subject to an ongoing investigation due to customer complaints from 2016 and June of 2018. The FDA noted in its letter that batches of valsartan from their facility contained an ingredient that is internationally categorized as a probable carcinogen. The FDA went on to state that ZHP has failed to address and resolve these concerns, and thus concluded that the issue reveals “a disturbing lack of oversight” in ZHP’s manufacturing processes.  

A pile of various pillsYou may have recently seen in the news that Fulton County has sued the opioid industry, following in the footsteps of more than 800 cities and counties that have filed suit. Since filing, more than 70 other cities and counties have filed similar suits. The theory of these cases is simple – pharmaceutical companies sold these drugs to consumers knowing that there was a very dangerous likelihood of crippling addiction.   

These cases serve as important reminders that the pharmaceutical companies may not always have consumers’ best interests at heart. FDA-approved drugs are recalled fairly frequently. It is ultimately a profit-driven industry, with immense pressure to get to market in order to recover significant research-and-development costs. Studies and testing get curtailed, concerns over side effects are pushed aside, and dangers get downplayed.  Unfortunately, consumers ultimately pay for the industry’s greed.

If you or someone you love has been suffering as a result of their medication, you need a lawyer who can help you get some answers and put your life back together.  

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