Our lawyers can help you bring a Valsartan cancer lawsuit in all 50 states.
Valsartan is a popular blood-pressure drug used by millions of people in the U.S. and sold under brand names Diofan and Exforge. But Valsartan was recalled after it was discovered that the drug was contaminated with dangerously high levels of a carcinogenic chemical called NDMA. This has prompted thousands of Valsartan lawsuits by individuals who developed certain types of cancer after prolonged use of Valsartan.
Our law firm is handling Valsartan cancer lawsuits in all 50 states. If you used valsartan for an extended period of time it may have significantly increased your chance of developing certain types of cancer. Call our national product liability lawyers today to see if you have a case.
Valsartan Settlement Update: April 2022
As settlement efforts continue, the Valsartan class action lawsuit balloons to 1,072 plaintiffs. Judge Kugler will hold the monthly status conference in the Valsartan MDL today (April 13, 2022). The main agenda item for the conference today is boring but important: a lingering discovery dispute regarding document requests from the plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Valsartan Settlement Update: March 2022
A pair of former judges have been appointed as settlement counsel in the Valsartan MDL. Their job will be to help facilitate some type of global settlement that will resolve over 1,000 cases currently pending. If a settlement cannot be brokered, the opening round of bellwether trials will move forward.
In 2018, the FDA announced a major recall of prescription blood pressure and heart drugs which contain the active ingredient valsartan. Valsartan is an active ingredient that is widely used in a number of brand name and generic drugs (Diofan, Exforge, etc.) used to treat hypertension and heart failure. It was recently discovered that when valsartan is manufactured in a certain way, it can contain a dangerous impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA).
NMDA is a known human carcinogen. The valsartan medications containing the dangerous NMDA impurity have been linked to a specific pharmaceutical ingredient distributed by a Chinese company — Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals. Zhejiang Huahai was manufacturing the contaminated valsartan component and selling it to several U.S. pharmaceutical companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Solco Healthcare. Zhejiang Huahai discovered NMDA impurities in its product which eventually led to the FDA recall.
All valsartan products manufactured with ingredients from the Zhejiang Huahai company were immediately recalled for safety reasons. According to the FDA, the NDMA impurities in the drugs were “totally unexpected” and believed to be caused by changes in the way certain ingredients were manufactured by the company in China.
The FDA followed up with a full investigation into the recalled products and the NDMA contamination. This investigation revealed that the NDMA contamination was more widespread than initially believed. At least one company in India that manufactures pharmaceutical ingredients was identified as a potential source of NDMA contamination.
List of Recalled Valsartan Drugs
Not all drugs containing Valsartan have been recalled. Only those drugs made with ingredients from Zhejiang Huahai. The list of all recalled drugs is below:
Drug Name Manufacturer
Valsartan Major Pharmaceuticals
Valsartan Solco Healthcare
Valsartan Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Solco Healthcare
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
What is NDMA?
NDMA is a type of chemical compound that often created as a byproduct of chemical processes that are used to manufacture various products. NDMA is created in the manufacture of rubber tires, chemical pesticides, and in the processing of fish for market sale.
A small trace amount of NDMA is often found in certain processed foods (again as the byproduct of the way the food are produced).
NDMA is classified as a human carcinogen (meaning it is believed to cause cancer in humans). Numerous animal studies have established that NDMA can cause cancer in the liver, gastrointestinal system, and kidneys.
Potential Injuries from the Valsartan Products
It is very unclear how long the recalled Valsartan products may have been on the market while containing the dangerous NDMA impurities.
However, all of the recalled valsartan drugs are long-term “maintenance” medications that patients usually take every day for years. Therefore, it is very possible that many individuals could have been ingesting drugs contaminated with NDMA on a daily basis for many years. This sort of long-term exposure to a known carcinogen creates a very serious health risk. NDMA exposure is strongly linked to certain types of cancer, including:
- Bladder Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Gastric Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
Valsartan Class Action Lawsuit
The discovery of NDMA in Valsartan prompted a wave of product liability lawsuits. Since the 2018 recall, around 1,100 Valsartan lawsuits have been filed. Most of the Valsartan lawsuits ended up in federal courts and were eventually consolidated into a class-action MDL in the District of New Jersey (Valsartan MDL). There are currently over 1,000 active cases pending in the Valsartan MDL.
The plaintiffs in these Valsartan lawsuits are individuals who used prescription drugs containing valsartan to treat high blood pressure for extended time periods and were subsequently diagnosed with one of the cancer types linked to NDMA. Plaintiffs in the valsartan lawsuits are claiming that their cancer was directly caused by the NDMA in the Valsartan medication they were using. There is significant and reliable scientific evidence linking NDMA consumption to various cancers.
Settlement Value of Valsartan Lawsuits
None of the Valsartan cancer lawsuits have settled or gone to trial yet, so we don’t really know exactly how much these cases could be worth. We can, however, offer a reasonable estimate of their likely settlement value by looking at payouts in prior cases. For purposes of valuing the valsartan cases, we can look at average settlement values in other tort cases involving similar cancers and also prior mass tort settlements.
Based on these points of comparison, we think a reasonable estimate for the potential settlement value of valsartan cancer cases in the top settlement tier will be around $150,000 to $200,000. The valsartan cases in the highest settlement tier will be those involving the worst types of cancer with the lowest survival rates (e.g., pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, etc.) Valsartan cases involving somewhat more survivable types of cancer (kidney, colon, etc.) could end up in a second settlement tier with a possible value of around $90,000 to $125,000.
Contact a Lawyer If You Have Been Taking Valsartan
If you have been taking one of the recalled valsartan drugs manufactured by Teva or Solco Healthcare, you should contact Miller & Zois to discuss whether you have a potential claim.
There is a class action lawsuit that we discussed above that may lead to financial settlements for valsartan victims. The possible settlement payouts — given the injuries — could be very large. Even if you don’t have cancer or any symptoms right now, you might become sick down the road. Get a free online consultation.
- The scope of the valsartan problem may be larger than we thought.