Florida Judge Rules That Only Brand-Name Zantac Cases Can Move Forward
Zantac, one of the most widely used heartburn medications, is the subject of thousands of lawsuits concerning the drug and exposure to N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a carcinogen emitted from ingestion of Zantac. Exposure to large amounts of this substance has been linked to cancer in humans. Patients who have taken brand or generic versions of Zantac/ranitidine have been exposed to the same cancer-causing agent.
As reported by Fierce Pharma, a recent court ruling in the Zantac multidistrict litigation (MDL) set in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that all generic and over-the-counter (OTC) claims must be dismissed. The ruling is a victory for generic and OTC manufacturers of Zantac/ranitidine.
The court order holds that claims concerning generic and OTC versions of Zantac/ranitidine are preempted (which simply means precluded) by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). The argument generic manufacturers have made is that the FDCA bars claims of economic injuries and design defects against these companies who simply copy what the brand name companies are doing.
The Supreme Court also has ruled that generic companies are shielded from some state law claims. As such, only brand name Zantac lawsuits can move forward, meaning a plaintiff who was prescribed brand name Zantac by a doctor and later developed cancer can proceed with his or her case. The total remaining claims in the MDL pertaining to brand name Zantac is nearly 1,400.
Will Patients Who Took Generic or OTC Versions of Zantac/Ranitidine Ever Have a Chance in Court?
Patients who took generic and/or OTC versions of Zantac have suffered a setback, but the MDL court’s recent ruling may not mean the game is entirely over for tens of thousands of individuals who are suffering from cancer. Generic drugs are intended to keep costs down as they contain the same active ingredient as their brand-name counterparts.
However, federal law, which may not have anticipated the harms both brand name and generic medications can cause, has protected generic manufacturers when they do not necessarily deserve protection.
While the law is difficult to change, lawyers for plaintiffs will fight to investigate other means of holding all manufacturers of generic ranitidine accountable for contributing to a massive recall of heartburn medications linked to cancer.
Because the Zantac litigation involves so many plaintiffs – both in state and federal courts – it may take a couple of years or longer to find out the fate of claims involving generic ranitidine and OTC versions of Zantac. In the end, despite court rulings, many mass tort litigations have resulted in global settlements to avoid the cost and delay of waiting many years for cases to go through the appeals process.
Call Searcy Denney Today to Speak with a Zantac Lawyer
If you were diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, you should consider discussing your legal rights with a Zantac lawyer. Even if you believe you took a generic version of Zantac, you may find guidance by speaking with a lawyer.
At Searcy Denney, our defective drug lawyers represent numerous clients harmed by Zantac/ranitidine. Our law firm possesses the resources, dedication, and advocacy skills needed to fight pharmaceutical giants. To receive a free case evaluation, contact Searcy Denney today by (800) 780-8607 or completing a case inquiry form on our website.