May 13, 2020
Zantac lawsuit update: Medical attorney Carmen Scott appointed to leadership position in national litigation
Litigation concerning claims that the popular antacid medication Zantac causes cancer continues to move forward with U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg on May 8, 2020, appointing attorneys to lead the multidistrict litigation, a national consolidation of individual cases. Motley Rice medical attorney Carmen Scott was appointed to be a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), which is charged with ensuring all plaintiffs’ interests are appropriately represented in the litigation.
Scott was also appointed the co-chair of the Leadership Development Committee (LDC), which is made up of lawyers who applied for MDL leadership positions but not appointed. As co-chair, Scott will “actively mentor and work closely with the attorneys appointed to the LDC so they have the opportunity to play a meaningful role in various aspects of this MDL, including subcommittee assignments, and thereby gain further experience in preparation for future service on steering committees.”
Zantac Removed from Store Shelves
The FDA asked drug manufacturers to immediately withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter Zantac (ranitidine) products, including generic ones, from the U.S. market in April 2020 due to concerns that they could contain N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a toxin that may cause prostate, stomach, bladder, kidney, pancreatic, colon, esophageal, digestive track and other cancers. As a result of the withdrawal, ranitidine will no longer be sold over the counter and will not be available for new or existing prescriptions.
“Prior to the withdrawal, Zantac was the type of medication that millions of Americans routinely tossed in their grocery carts without thinking twice,” said Carmen Scott, attorney for the plaintiffs. “They had no way of knowing this drug could harm them and their loved ones. As consumers, we have no choice but to trust that medical drug manufacturer products are safe. If that trust is violated, and people are hurt as a result, manufacturers must be held accountable.”
Possible Cancer Link
The FDA began investigating the presence of NDMA in blood pressure and heart failure medications in 2018. The agency said it also found “unacceptable levels” of the toxin in some ranitidine products, H2 (histamine-2) blockers used to decrease the amount of acid in the stomach and treat conditions such as heartburn and indigestion.
The FDA described its request to withdraw all ranitidine products as the latest step in its ongoing investigation. A series of recalls preceded the withdrawal, beginning with Zantac manufacturer Sanofi’s recall of the named-brand drug in October 2019. Several generic manufacturers followed, including Appco Pharma’s recall of prescription-only 150mg and 300mg capsules that were set to expire in April or May of 2021. Northwind Pharmaceuticals’ recall affected all unexpired lots of 150mg and 300mg ranitidine tablets that were packaged by Denton Pharma, in addition to similar recalls by Glenmark Pharmaceutical Inc., Sandoz Inc., and Apotex Corp.
The litigation, In re Zantac Ranitidine Products Liability Litigation, is pending in the Southern District of Florida.
Motley Rice medical attorneys have experience litigating for patients who have suffered severe adverse effects and complications caused by prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including heartburn medications. In addition to handling Zantac claims, our attorneys represent clients with chronic kidney disease and failure related to proton pump inhibitors (PPI), used to treat GERD, frequent heartburn, ulcers, esophagitis and other conditions related to the over-production of stomach acid.
Motley Rice LLC, a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, is engaged in the New Jersey practice of law through Motley Rice New Jersey LLC. Esther Berezofsky is the attorney responsible for New Jersey practice.