CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Two consumers filed a class-action lawsuit claiming pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi (SNY), among others, failed to warn consumers that the heartburn medication, Zantac, produces a clinically proven carcinogen in the body at levels far beyond what regulators consider safe.
According to Beth Fegan, founder and managing member of consumer-rights law firm FeganScott, Zantac and its generic active ingredient, ranitidine, became one of the world’s best-selling drugs through a massive advertising campaign that touted the drug as safe.
“Now we know those claims are wrong, and we intend to show that the defendants knew this but continued to advocate the drug’s safety in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary,” said Fegan.
The complaint cites studies that ranitidine, when metabolized, creates N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which the EPA, FDA and World Health Organization (WHO) deem a carcinogen.
Filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, if approved as a class action, the suit would represent the millions of U.S. consumers who took Zantac or its generic equivalent for acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or other digestion-related issues.
Named plaintiffs Lynn White and Nataliya Birman used Zantac or ranitidine believing the manufacturers’ claims of safety and were concerned when media reports disclosed the scientific research linking the drug to NDMA.
“As consumers, we are forced to rely on drug makers to be truthful and honest in how they represent products,” Fegan noted. “Now we see that the makers of Zantac had access to studies dating back to the 1990s that showed a conclusive link to the carcinogenic NDMA, and all this time have allowed consumers to take these cancer pills.”
Though several manufacturers of Zantac, including GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, recently issued recalls and halted sales, these companies continue to stand behind the safety of Zantac, exhibiting what the suit claims is an “extreme disregard for the health and welfare” of consumers.
According to the complaint, “Had defendants disclosed that Zantac results in unsafe levels of NDMA in the human body, no person, let alone a reasonable person, would have purchased and consumed Zantac.”
The lawsuit seeks to represent anyone who purchased Zantac or its generic equivalent, ranitidine, and asks the court to set up a medical monitoring program to diagnose and treat any related cancers and demands punitive damages for defendants’ outrageous and intentional conduct.
Consumers who are interested in learning more about this class-action suit are urged to send their contact information to [email protected].
FeganScott is a national class-action law firm dedicated to helping victims of consumer fraud, sexual abuse, and discrimination. The firm is championed by acclaimed veteran, class-action attorneys who have successfully recovered $1 billion for victims nationwide. FeganScott is committed to pursuing successful outcomes with integrity and excellence while holding the responsible parties accountable.