Drugmakers face New Jersey MDL over kidney injuries caused by acid reducers

by Jay Pate

Several drugmakers – including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Takeda – are facing lawsuits over complications linked to a class of drugs designed to reduce stomach acid. The lawsuits allege that medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – which include the drugs Prilosec and Nexium – increase the risk of kidney damage and other life threatening complications in patients who use the drugs for an extended period.

PPIs are designed to reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Other PPI medications that are available over the counter without a prescription include the drugs Prevacid and Protonix.

According to dozens of lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of PPIs, patients who take these drugs for an extended period may face an increased risk of kidney damage that can lead to serious and potentially fatal complications. In 2011, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration to encourage the agency to investigate the potential side effects of these medications. Following the FDA’s investigation, the agency added a warning to the drugs’ labeling about the risk of acute interstitial nephritis associated with the use of Prilosec, Nexium, and other proton pump inhibitors.

Subsequent research has uncovered more evidence about the risk of PPIs. According to a 2016 study, patients who use proton pump inhibitors over an extended period are 20-50% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. Patients have also filed lawsuits alleging that they developed liver failure as a result of using these medications.

After dozens of patients who suffered kidney damage or other complications after using PPIs filed lawsuits against AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Takeda, the plaintiffs filed a motion to have these lawsuits consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey. The drug companies were able to convince the court to rule against consolidating the lawsuits in an MDL. However, after more lawsuits were filed, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agreed to consolidate more than 160 of these cases in a New Jersey MDL, where most of the suits had been filed.

Pharmaceutical Liability Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured as a result of complications from a prescription drugs or other medical products, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action against a drug company is to speak with an attorney who can tell you more about your legal rights and guide you through the process of filing a case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed hundreds lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, or other dangerous products. The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have tried hundreds of cases to verdict and achieved settlements in hundreds more.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that that when drugs or other medical products sold by pharmaceutical companies cause serious or fatal injuries in patients, the manufacturers should be held accountable for the harm caused by their products in a court of law. Our law firm has collected more than $200 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients over the last several years.

For a free legal consultation about your case and to learn more about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.

by Jay Pate

John “Jay” Pate is a licensed attorney who focuses his practice on complex tort litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.