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Zantac was first introduced in 1983 and was distributed in the United States by Sanofi. It was extremely popular and effective in both prescription and over-the-counter forms in treating acid reflux and related conditions like ulcers. It has been prescribed over the years to workers’ who have had treatment for an industrial injury, and perhaps a gastrointestinal problem as a consequence of stress, or reaction to medications.

The FDA told all manufacturers to stop selling Zantac made with ranitidine in the United States in April 2020 because NDMA contamination can increase over time. The longer the drug sits on the shelf, the greater the amount of NDMA in the drug and the FDA doesn’t know how long NDMA has been in Zantac. Sanofi’s new drug, Zantac 360 made with famotidine is not a part of the lawsuits.

.Zantac was a popular medication prescribed to military veterans through the VA, and now veterans are filing lawsuits after getting a cancer diagnosis.After the FDA issued its market withdrawal notice, the Defense Health Agency (DHA) advised military beneficiaries to talk to their doctors about a prescription Zantac alternative in a communication dated April 15, 2020.

There are now several state lawsuits against the makers and sellers of Zantac as well as over 2,000 federal cases. The federal cases have been combined into a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) that is moving toward a trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and are being overseen by Chief Judge K. Michael Moore.  Brand name Zantac manufacturers in lawsuits include Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, Sanofi US Services Inc., Chattem Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline.

The class action suit against Zantac manufacturers in California is the first to officially schedule a trial date. Superior Court of Alameda Judge Evelio Grillo has set the start date for October 10, 2022.  Trials in the MDL in Florida, and an array of other cases in states such as Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Washington could be scheduled to begin before the trial in Alameda.

The first trial in California before Judge Grillo is the first in a series of bellwether tests, beginning with a case the plaintiffs selected. Next up will be a case the defendants selected scheduled to begin February 6, 2023. The next two are scheduled for May 1, 2023 (plaintiff selected) and August 7, 2023 (defendant selected).

The main claim in Zantac lawsuits is that defendants failed to properly warn the public that Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine, is unstable and can form NDMA leading to an increased cancer risk, and that the Zantac drug label failed to properly warn the public about the risk of cancer.

People who have taken Zantac and filed lawsuits reported a wide variety of cancers linked to the drug and NDMA. Cancers that qualify for Zantac lawsuits include bladder, gastric/stomach, esophageal, liver and pancreatic cancers.Doctors who diagnosed people with cancer after taking Zantac also diagnosed them with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) and Crohn’s disease.

There have been no Zantac settlements or jury verdicts yet. Typically, bellwether trials help plaintiffs and defendants understand how much a case may be worth.

Currently, Sanofi, GSK Plc and Haleon Plc have lost a combined $40 billion in stock market value since Tuesday’s close amid mounting concerns about litigation around the drug Zantac. While news of the litigation is not new, the publication of a series of analyst notes in recent days highlighting the potential exposure the companies face awoke investors to the risks.

The damages from Zantac litigation could possibly reach $10.5 billion to $45 billion, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley, based on similar litigation settlements in the past. “There is considerable uncertainty at this stage surrounding the potential total financial impact of the Zantac litigation,” they wrote in a note to clients.