Florida Woman Alleges Zantac Caused Her to Develop Breast Cancer
Zantac, the brand name for Ranitidine, is a popular prescription medication used to treat indigestion, heartburn, and other gastric disorders. Many people take Zantac for months or even years to combat their symptoms. Yet there is a growing body of medical evidence that suggests regular use of Zantac may increase a person’s risk of developing certain forms of cancer.
Late last year, one Florida woman sued the companies responsible for manufacturing and marketing Zantac, alleging the drug caused her to develop breast cancer. The lawsuit specifically argues that Zantac is a defective drug and that the defendants knew of the potential cancer risks yet “failed to exercise reasonable care” in warning patients or their doctors. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages under Florida law.
Lawsuit Cites 2008 Study Directly Linking Ranitidine to Cancer-Causing Agent
The main thrust of the lawsuit is that the Zantac defendants essentially ignored a 2008 study conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in California. According to the lawsuit, the Hutchinson Center “made clear there was a direct link between Zantac and breast cancer.” This “link” was the presence of a known cancer-causing agent known as NDMA. As the lawsuit notes, the “dangers that NDMA poses to human health” have been known since the 1970s. Indeed, it is no longer produced or used in the United States, except to produce poison for research purposes.
The lawsuit alleges that ranitidine, the active ingredient in Zantac, contains substantially more NDMA contamination than is considered acceptable under U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. The plaintiff points to recalls of other drugs containing significantly less NDMA than was purportedly found in Zantac. More to the point, this is not an issue of “contamination,” but rather a problem “inherent to the molecular structure of ranitidine” itself. Essentially, once taken by the patient, Zantac breaks down in the patient’s stomach to produce NDMA.
The plaintiff alleges Zantac’s manufacturers knew of this problem dating back to the drug’s initial marketing in the early 1980s. Several studies pointed to the “toxicity of ranitidine.” Yet the plaintiff said the manufacturers took no action to curb their marketing of Zantac, despite the fact they “knew or should have known that Zantac exposed users to unsafe levels” of NDMA.
The defendants named in the lawsuit include GlaxoSmithKline, which originally developed Zantac and controlled its U.S. rights from 1983 until 2009; Pfizer, which marketed and sold Zantac in the U.S. from 1996 until 2005; Boehringer, which assumed the rights from 2006 until 2017; and Sanofi, which has maintained the rights since 2017.
Contact a Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Attorney Today
This is just one of what is expected to be many cases against the manufacturers of Zantac. If you have developed cancer after using Zantac, it is important you speak with an experienced Knoxville dangerous drugs lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the offices of Fox, Farley, Willis & Burnette, today to schedule a free initial consultation.