Pfizer to Settle 10K Lawsuits Over Drug Linked to Cancer, Costing Company Millions

Big Pharma giant Pfizer confirmed on Wednesday that it will settle more than 10,000 lawsuits over allegations that the company failed to warn people about possible cancer risks caused by their Zantac product.

Zantac is the company’s once-popular anti-heartburn medication featured in a multitude of television commercials, many of which featured an animated fireman character.

But in 2020, the Food and Drug Administration warned that Zantac and its generic version, called ranitidine, should be pulled from the shelves after a cancer-causing substance called NDMA was discovered as a contaminant linked to the medication.

Now, the company has agreed to settle the thousands of cases filed in state courts all across the nation over the substance, according to Bloomberg News.

Terms of the Pfizer settlements have not been disclosed.

“Pfizer has explored and will continue to explore opportunistic settlements of certain cases if appropriate, and has settled certain cases,” the company said in a statement.

Pfizer and other companies began developing the generic version of ranitidine in 1997 once Glaxo’s patent for the ingredient expired, according to the New York Post.

“The company has not sold a Zantac product in more than 15 years and did so only for a limited period of time,” the statement from Pfizer added.

After the FDA made its recommendation to pull the product, thousands of lawsuits were filed against pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Sanofi already settled about 4,000 lawsuits last month.

Bloomberg reported that Sanofi will pay $100 million in its settlement, marking an average of $25,000 for each plaintiff.

But Sanofi still faces more than 20,000 lawsuits in the state of Delaware.

Indeed, there are up to 70,000 cases in Delaware courts against Sanofi and the other Big Pharma companies.

“Sanofi is settling these cases, not because we believe the claims have any merit, but rather to avoid the expense and ongoing distraction of the litigation,” the company said in a statement.

Like Sanofi, GSK has settled some of the suits leveled against the firm.

According to the Daily Mail, NDMA is a common byproduct of many industrial processes, including the making of rocket fuel.

“NDMA is a ‘‘forever chemical,’ meaning that it doesn’t degrade, or break down, naturally in our bodies and is believed to cause DNA damage,” the outlet reported.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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