Valsartan lawsuits state blood pressure drug contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals
Valsartan is a mass produced drug and unfortunately the amount of contaminated batches leaves potential for thousands of Valsartan lawsuits
Blood pressure drug valsartan contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals
Valsartan, a common blood pressure drug taken by millions of Americans, has been shown to contain carcinogenic chemicals NDMA and NDEA.
As the extent of the contamination becomes clear, courts in the US are hearing hundreds of lawsuits seeking damages from companies that produced tainted Valsartan.
What is valsartan?
Valsartan is often used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions as well as hypertension. The term valsartan refers to an active ingredient that is sold under a variety of drug brand names, most commonly as Diovan, manufactured by Novartis.
Valsartan belongs to a class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers, prescribed to improve blood flow and prevent strokes and kidney problems. Similar drugs include losartan and irbesartan, also used to treat blood pressure and heart conditions.
What are the risks of Valsartan for patients?
In mid-2018, drug manufacturers began a mass recall of valsartan products after some batches were found to contain NDMA, a carcinogenic chemical. NDMA has long been linked to kidney cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer, as well as a range of other liver and kidney problems and angioedema.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall of valsartan products in July 2018 over concerns about contamination with NDMA and carcinogenic chemicals. According to the original FDA recall, the presence of cancer-causing chemicals is “thought to be related to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured.” The FDA emphasized that patients should not stop taking valsartan until they consult with their doctor.
Not all batches or brands of valsartan were included in the recall—Diovan was notably not affected—but medical authorities have also issued recalls for other blood pressure drugs, including losartan and irbesartan.
According to the FDA, valsartan products containing NDMA were first sold in drug stores in 2018. The FDA and the European Medicines Agency both announced that contaminated valsartan products came from Chinese manufacturers Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical and Zhejiang Tianyu as well as Indian manufacturer Hetero Labs. Zhejiang Huahai also found another cancer-causing chemical, NDEA, in some batches of valsartan and informed the FDA of the issue in late 2018. According to the FDA, Zhejiang Huahai had stopped distributing valsartan at the time of the July 2018 recall.
Because drug supply chains are highly interconnected, Zhejiang Huahai, Zhejiang Tianyu, Hetero Labs and a number of other pharmaceutical manufacturers are now named in lawsuits over the carcinogen contamination.
Companies named in Valsartan lawsuits
– Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical
– Hetero Labs
– Prinston Pharmaceutical
– Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
– Solco Healthcare
– Northwind Pharmaceuticals
– Bryant Ranch Prepack
– Torrent Pharmaceuticals
– A-S Medication Solutions
– Camber Pharmaceuticals
Patients who develop cancer, liver or kidney problems after taking valsartan may be entitled to compensation
A growing number of personal injury lawsuits are calling on manufacturers of tainted valsartan to compensate consumers. The plaintiffs involved are seeking a settlement for a range of damages, including medical bills, lost income, loss of future earnings and wages, and pain and suffering.
Most patients filing lawsuits against valsartan manufacturers began taking the blood pressure drug at least one year before developing cancer or another condition. At minimum, they must have taken a one month course of a valsartan drug.
Valsartan lawsuits move ahead as judges consolidate cases
Consumers filing lawsuits over personal injury due to contaminated valsartan are now part of a mass tort, rather than a class action suit. Federal judges have now consolidated the claims from around the country into multidistrict litigation (MDL) based in New Jersey. The MDL also includes all cases over contaminated losartan or irbesartan.
Patients involved in the litigation have developed cancer or other conditions after taking a contaminated valsartan drug. The FDA is continuing to provide updates and personal injury attorneys involved in the case suggest consumers check the latest information to see how the valsartan recalls affect them.
The litigation connects a range of cases filed by personal injury attorneys and the parties to the MDL are now selecting representative cases that will go ahead as bellwether trials for the litigation. The number of cases in the valsartan MDL also continues to increase in part because the process significantly reduces legal costs for plaintiffs and enables more consumers to seek damages.
Judges have begun consolidating Zantac lawsuits under Multidistrict Litigation, meaning a greater number of patients can seek compensation for personal injury. As of April, the number of personal injury Zantac lawsuits was in the hundreds and growing and many more patients are likely eligible to seek damages.