Pfizer Settles Cancer Claims with Thousands of Affected Patients

by Ohepo Ohepo

New York, May 2024 – In a significant development concerning the potential link between cancer and the heartburn drug Zantac, Pfizer has agreed to settle over 10,000 claims from users who allege that the drug caused their cancer. This settlement, spanning several states across the United States, marks a critical step in the ongoing litigation surrounding the once-popular medication.

Background on Zantac

Zantac, widely used to treat and prevent heartburn, acid indigestion, GERD, and gastric ulcers, was a staple for millions. However, concerns about its safety emerged when an independent lab detected the probable carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the drug and its generic versions in 2019. Following these findings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered all versions containing ranitidine, the active ingredient, off the market in 2020. Zantac has since returned to the shelves with famotidine as its active ingredient.

Settlement Details

While Pfizer has not disclosed the financial specifics of the settlement, the move follows Sanofi’s recent agreement to pay over $100 million to resolve approximately 4,000 Zantac cases. Pfizer stated in an email, “Pfizer has explored and will continue to explore opportunistic settlements of certain cases if appropriate and has settled certain cases.” The company noted that it hasn’t sold a Zantac product in over 15 years and did so for a limited time.

Allegations and Legal Proceedings

The core of the allegations revolves around NDMA, with the FDA finding that levels of this impurity increased over time and temperature in some ranitidine products. The agency noted that while low levels of nitrosamines may not pose a risk, prolonged exposure at higher levels could increase cancer risk.

In a notable trial, the legal team for an 89-year-old plaintiff argued that pharmaceutical companies GSK and Boehringer Ingelheim were aware of the potential cancer risk but failed to adequately warn the public. GSK, which developed the active ingredient in Zantac, and Boehringer Ingelheim, which sold the drug from 2006 to 2017, have faced numerous lawsuits on this basis.

Current and Future Legal Landscape

Despite settlements, thousands of cases remain unresolved. Attorneys across the U.S. continue to pursue litigation, asserting that the pharmaceutical companies involved were negligent in handling and marketing the drug.

For individuals who regularly took Zantac when it contained ranitidine, legal avenues for compensation remain open. Those affected are encouraged to seek legal consultation to explore potential claims.

If you or a loved one were affected by Zantac, please contact Phillips Law Group for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.

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