Zantac Lawsuits 2020 Cancer Class Action Update

The Zantac cancer lawsuits are heating up.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers are pushing like crazy for them, including our law firm.  If you have cancer and were taking Zantac, don’t delay.  Call us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online claim evaluation.

CVS announced it has stopped selling the heartburn medication Zantac, along with other generic versions of the medication, after concerns were raised over possible cancer risks.  Our lawyers are moving quickly and are now investigating Zantac cancer lawsuits.

CVS told consumers last weekend that sales of Zantac would be suspended indefinitely. This announcement comes after the FDA released a statement earlier this month saying that many heartburn medications, including the brand Zantac, contain an ingredient impurity known to cause cancer.

In a statement, CVS noted that the FDA has not yet recalled Zantac or other generic heartburn medications.  Importantly, there is also no current recommendation to stop taking these types of drugs. Still, CVS decided that it was time to lead based on the growing evidence from the FDA.

What kind of cancer does NDMA cause?

We do not know the answer.  But the list seems to be growing everyday.  This is our current belief as to which types of cancer Zantac might cause:

  • breast
  • stomach
  • bladder
  • colon
  • lung
  • liver
  • kidney
  • liver
  • pancreatic
  • colon
  • testicular

What are the risks of Zantac?

Zantac and Ranitidine Recall Infographic

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All drugs carry risks. There are virtually no medications that affect human physiology that do not travel with possible risk.  Adverse reactions ranitidine are generally thought to be rare.  Most neurologic side effects are seen in elderly patients or patients with kidney or hepatic impairment.  These side effects are usually resolved by simply stopping the use of ranitidine.  You also see rare cases of hepatic toxicity with ranitidine.

So no one is saying drugs have to be perfectly safe.  The question is whether there is an unacceptable cancer risk with ranitidine.

Ranitidine is classified as an antacid and is the main ingredient in many heartburn medications, including Zantac. Inside these ranitidine products, the FDA has determined through lab tests that they contain low levels of an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA.

The FDA has been investigating NDMA in blood pressure and heart failure medications since last year, and WHO has recently labeled the impurity is a “probable human carcinogen”.

This isn’t the first time NDMA has been detected in over-the-counter medications, either. The FDA has recalled several other medications that contain the ingredient valsartan. Valsartan products have also been found to contain “unacceptable levels” of the NDMA impurity that is possibly linked to cancer.

Should patients stop taking the medication?

One table of Zantac may contain 3,000 to 26,000 times the FDA’s daily limit for NDMA consumption.  So the first thing you want to do is talk to our doctor.  I’m a lawyer, not a doctor.  But there is a reason that product has been pooled off the shelves.  There are other product out there to treat this condition.   If you are taking this drug over the counter, I would try another medication.   You think the whole thing might be overblown.  I don’t think so but I’ll allow for the possibility.  But I don’t think the risk is worth it.

The FDA said that patients who are taking prescription-strength heartburn products containing ranitidine should contact their healthcare provider to discuss alternative treatments.

What’s next?

The future of these products will depend on what kind of further research is released by the FDA. In a study published by the medical journal BMJ last year, researchers found no “markedly increased short term overall risk of cancer” among users of valsartan drugs that were made with NDMA. The study did mention, however, that there is a need for more research on the long-term risk of cancer.

It’s expected that more companies and countries will ban the sale of Zantac and its generic counterparts until the safety of these drugs has been fully established. As of right now, the United States, Canada, France, and Bangladesh have all issued a temporary removal of ranitidine products from store shelves.

A dozen Zantac cancer lawsuits have been filed in federal court.  In November, plaintiffs’ lawyers filed a motion to the MDL judicial who decides whether the Zantac claims should be made into a class action (really an MDL but it is class action as most people understand the term).  As of January 2020, the court has not yet ruled on this motion. We expect the court to grant the motion.

If you are bringing a Zantac claim, this is great news for you.  This means it is very unlikely much will be asked of you in the litigation for quite some time.  You file a lawsuit, fill out some paperwork, and hope these cases produce a settlement offer.

Will the Zantac Cases Lead to Large Settlements?

The real answer is no one knows.  But our lawyers expect the Zantac lawsuits to lead to favorable settlements.  Why?   This chemical has been commercially available for nearly 40 years.  No one saw a connection to cancer in all of that time?  My guess is that the makers of ranitidine probably saw data showing a connection, wrote about it, and the research and efforts to test a connection went nowhere.

My guess is lawsuits get filed and we get a better idea of who knows what.  Of course, this presupposes causation between Zantac and cancer and the FDA recently put out some data to muddy that picture.  But that data seems flawed.

What is the potential settlement value of the Zantac cases?  It is so early to project the settlement value of these cases.  Could it be bigger than Roundup which is projected to be about $500,000 a case?   I think that is a fair comp for a mass tort settlement.  But we will have to see how these cases play out.

Are Lawyers Interested in These Claims?

Picture describing our firm accepting Zantac lawsuits

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Ah, I think so.  This is the email I got today:

We are generating Zantac Cancer leads at $20 per lead and depending on the criteria we are seeing retained cases at $65-$125 per case. We are very transparent when it comes to our lead generation program and want to earn your business. We work on a 15% of ad spend management fee that includes managing your campaigns, ads, creating landing pages and integrating with your CRM or lead management systems. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get Zantac cancer cases while they are cheap – we are already seeing a lot of firms jumping on board! Give us a call or send us an email for more information.

Again, we are lawyers are NOW INVESTIGATING THESE CLAIMS.