Pfizer Agrees to Settle Over 10,000 Zantac Lawsuits Following Sanofi’s Lead

In close footsteps of the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, Pfizer has given its nod to settle more than 10,000 personal injury claims by users of Zantac, which is the brand name for the antacid drug Ranitidine. It will kickstart a process to resolve litigation in several U.S. state courts. Pfizer had the rights to sell Zantac from 1998 to 2006.

In April, the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi had settled over 4,000 Zantac cases in the U.S. and had paid more than $100 million, which comes to about $25,000 per plaintiff. The terms of the agreement by Pfizer have not been made public.

Pfizer Settles 10,000+ Zantac Lawsuits

In an emailed statement, Pfizer stated,

“Pfizer continues to vigorously defend against Zantac lawsuits, which we believe are not supported by reliable science,”

a spokesperson said.

“As we have stated previously, Pfizer has explored and will continue to explore opportunistic settlements of certain cases if appropriate and has settled certain cases.”

Zantac litigations are being faced by several pharmaceutical manufacturers and include GSK (Glaxo) and German drug manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim. GSK had the rights for Zantac (ranitidine) in 1983 and lost its patent protection for the treatment in 1997.

Pfizer gained the rights to sell Zantac from 1998 to 2006. Pfizer had clarified two years ago that it enjoyed substantial indemnification claims against other parties, a fact which was acknowledged by other manufacturers in their disclosures. Pfizer also said that the outcome of the litigation will not affect it financially.

In 2020, the US FDA ordered a stop of sales of Zantac after reports that the main ingredient of the drug had the possibility of converting into a carcinogen or cancer-causing substance over some time or when exposed to high temperatures. Zantac has returned to the market but with new components minus ranitidine.

Last year, GSK had settled cases with individual plaintiffs before the cases went to court. GSK had sold Zantac for a longer period and hence was facing more claims in comparison to other companies. As per Reuters, GSK was facing more than 79,000 outstanding cases in October of last year.

The first trial involving a Zantac user, Angela Valadez, 89, started last week in Chicago. The Zantac user claimed that she developed colorectal cancer after using the drug. Her case is against GSK and Boehringer. Sanofi, which settled 4,000 Zantac state lawsuits, still faces Delaware claims.

Companies that are facing litigation got a big respite in 2022 when a Florida Court rejected the findings which said that ranitidine can cause cancer. This ruling put a close on 50,000 cases that had been consolidated in the Florida federal court.

Also Read: More Trouble For Microsoft, OpenAI: Eight US Newspaper Publishers File Lawsuit For Copyright Infringement

Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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