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Sanofi to settle 4,000 Zantac cancer lawsuits in US state courts

Sanofi opened a new tab and has signed an accord in principle that will resolve 4,000 U.S. lawsuits linking the discontinuation of the heartburn medication Zantac and cancer. The pharmaceutical company announced this on Wednesday.

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Sanofi did not reveal the financial terms of the agreement. The deal, which must be completed, will end most lawsuits against Sanofi. French drug companies that are pending within U.S. state courts, except for Delaware, where most cases are in the midst of.

Sanofi denied any responsibility for the settlement and claimed it was settling the matter to avoid the cost and continual disruption of the lawsuit.

The company stated, “Sanofi has vigorously defended the Zantac litigation since the outset and will continue to do so.”

Sanofi continues to face about 22,000 lawsuits over Zantac in Delaware, the state’s court. A judge at Delaware Superior Court in Wilmington is considering the outcome of 70,000 lawsuits brought against Sanofi as well as other defendants like GSK (GSK.L), which opens an entirely new page, Pfizer (PFE.N), which opens a new tab, and Boehringer Ingelheim.

GSK, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Pfizer did not respond immediately to requests for comments.

Both defendants and plaintiffs await an answer from the judge as to whether there is enough scientific evidence to back the plaintiffs’ claim that Zantac can cause cancer.

The drugmakers scored a huge victory in 2022 after a judge dismissed around 50,000 lawsuits with similar claims, which had been brought together at the federal level in Florida.

The judge ruled that the conclusions of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses on the possibility that Zantac causes cancer were not backed by solid science. The plaintiffs are suing the judge for a reversal of that decision.

The drug makers have claimed that there isn’t any evidence Zantac exposes users to dangerous levels of carcinogenic chemical NDMA.

Jennifer Moore and Brent Wisner, the main plaintiffs’ lawyers for both the Delaware and California lawsuits, announced this week that they’re delighted Sanofi has reached a settlement, while litigation continues against defendants.

“We are pushing forward aggressively against GSK and Boehringer Ingelheim and are preparing for multiple trials in California state court this year,” Moore stated.

Zantac was first approved in 1983 and was the top-selling medicine in 1988. It was also one of the first drugs to surpass one billion dollars in revenue. A precursor of GSK initially marketed it and later sold by Pfizer, Boehringer, and finally, Sanofi.

In 2019, a number of pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies stopped selling Zantac after NDMA was discovered in certain tablets. Certain tests revealed that Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine, could break down into NDMA with time or when exposed to heat.

The lawsuits started to pile up from those who claimed to have been diagnosed with cancer following the use of Zantac. The plaintiffs argued that the company was aware, or should have known, that ranitidine was an increased risk for cancer, but they did not adequately inform customers.

It was reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanded that manufacturers pull the drug from the market by 2020.

Sanofi currently sells Zantac360, an improved heartburn medication whose active ingredient is famotidine.

If you or your loved one took the zantac and suffered cancer or other health related problems. You might be eligible for the compensation. Click here and fill the form to apply for free case evaluation from The Justice Now.

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