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Pfizer Settles Lawsuit Accusing Its Medication of Cancer Risks

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Pfizer Settles Lawsuit Accusing Its Medication of Cancer Risks
Source: Pinterest

Pfizer Settles Lawsuit Accusing Its Medication of Cancer Risks

Source: Pinterest

Popular pharmaceutical company Pfizer has settled its lawsuit after the company was accused of producing drugs that can cause cancer. However, this drug has been around for over four decades, causing concerns that the damage has been done.

Over 10,000 Lawsuits

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There were over 10,000 lawsuits against Pfizer, a famous pharmaceutical company, as the people allege that the company did not make it public knowledge that their drug Zantac could cause cancer. Understandably, millions of people across the country are worried about Zantac, a heartburn reliever many have used several times over the past forty years. 

Zantac Has Been Available Since 1983

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Over 40 years ago, Glaxo Holdings brought Zantac into the drug market, and it was an instant hit. The drug was marketed as a treatment for peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or simply heartburn. Due to its huge success, the medicine became the best-selling drug in the world by 1988. Users reportedly benefited from its usage, voicing its effectiveness as well. 

Millions of People Use Zantac 

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By 2017, reports showed that over 15 million Americans used Zantac regularly. However, these people believed it was safe. It wasn’t until 2018 that a random quality test showed that the drug was not safe, as it contained very high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a toxin in the human body. Because of these alarmingly high levels, the FDA issued a public safety warning. 

The FDA Recall

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The FDA also carried out its own research and confirmed that Zantac did contain the cancer-causing substance NDMA, as they found it in samples of the drug. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration pulled Zantac from the market and asked the company to pull its other generic versions from the market, as they also contained ranitidine, the same active ingredient found in Zantac. 

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Many Cancer Diagnosis Reports 

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When news of this broke, people also began to analyze their usage and circumstances. Thousands of people who used Zantac regularly had been diagnosed with cancer, prompting them to point fingers at the drug. As of June 2022, over 2,100 lawsuits were filed against Pfizer, the current drug manufacturer. These were serious cases as they were filed in federal courts. 

Thousands of Lawsuits Against Zantac

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According to the claims in these suits, Zantac is responsible for their cancer diagnosis. Tens of thousands of people have made these claims over the years. However, Lawsuit Information revealed that there is a high chance that over 30,000 more cancer claims against Zantac were not filed as lawsuits. Instead, these people were only allowed to file suits without naming them as  Zantac lawsuits. 

Zantac's Misleading Marketing

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The suit against Zantac claims that the affected parties got cancer from using the drug. They believe the company should have warned the FDA, doctors, and patients about its potential risks. They also noted that they should have packaged the drug differently, shortened the expiration date for Zantac, and stored and transported them at moderate heat and humidity levels.

 

How Does Zantac Cause Cancer?

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Zantac causes cancer by breaking down its NDMA constituent through intense heat and humidity in patients’ stomachs. If the patient has eaten foods high in nitrates, this can convert them into cancer-inducing NDMA. Since the drug didn’t come with the appropriate warnings, people were consuming it in a high amount that the FDA would disapprove of quite greatly. 

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3,000 Times the FDA Approved Limit

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According to several studies, one tablet of Zantac can contain over 3,000 times the normal daily limit that the FDA approved for NDMA. People who took this drug regularly and more than once a day were consuming over 6,000 times the approved dosage of NDMA. Therefore, it is unsurprising that there are almost 100,000 people who are claiming that Zantac caused their cancer. 

Pfizer Strikes a Deal 

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Most of the cases against Pfizer’s Zantac in the U.S. have been resolved, excluding Delaware, which still has most of its pending cases. The exact details of the resolution have not been made public, but Bloomberg News reported that the company will pay $100 million or $25,00” to each of the plaintiffs on record. 

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Delaware Cases Are Still Active 

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The cases in Delaware have not been resolved yet, but it seems likely that they will be soon enough. It is currently unclear if Zantac poses any other potential risks except for its confirmed cancer risks. However, cases like these will reduce the chances of dangerous drugs being a threat in the future, as their manufacturers will have no choice but to take adequate precautions. 

The Company’s Loss in Earnings 

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Since Pfizer took Zantac off the shelves, the company has suffered a major monetary loss. The first summer recorded a $45 billion loss in the company’s earnings. However, Pfizer still stands behind Zantac, claiming it doesn’t have these risks as millions claim. The company’s representatives also said they look forward to presenting their case at trial. 

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