On May 8th, 2020, Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP partner, Rosemarie Riddell Bogdan, was appointed to a leadership position on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the National Zantac Products Liability Litigation (In Re: Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2924) pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Honorable Robin L. Rosenberg appointed Rosemarie after conducting two full days of leadership interviews of over 60 applicants. Rosemarie also serves in a leadership position as the Co-Science Chair for the Valsartan, Losartan, and Irbesartan Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2875).
“I am honored to be chosen by Judge Rosenberg to help lead this important litigation on behalf of plaintiffs who unknowingly took a medication contaminated with NDMA. This leadership position will enable me and Martin, Harding & Mazzotti to advocate for the rights of all plaintiffs who developed cancer as a result of taking Zantac and/or ranitidine,” said Bogdan.
The Zantac MDL was established by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on February 6, 2020. All Zantac cases commenced in federal court throughout the United States will be transferred to this Court for pretrial and discovery proceedings. The cases are against the manufacturers and distributors of Zantac (ranitidine) including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Sanofi. The cases in the MDL have been commenced by plaintiffs who allege to have developed cancer as a result of taking Zantac and/or ranitidine.
The litigation centers around the FDA’s investigation of the presence of NDMA, a known carcinogen, in Zantac (ranitidine). On April 1, 2020, the FDA requested that manufacturers withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market immediately because of a risk to public health. According to the FDA, this withdraw request came after new testing and evaluation confirmed that NDMA levels increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions, and NDMA has been found to increase significantly in samples stored at higher temperatures, including temperatures the product may be exposed to during distribution and handling by consumers. The FDA testing also showed that the older a ranitidine product is, or the longer the length of time since it was manufactured, the greater the level of NDMA. As a result of the FDA’s immediate market withdrawal request, all ranitidine products including Zantac will not be available in the United States.
Nitrosamines, like NDMA, are organic chemical compounds that are comprised of a nitroso group bonded to an amine. Most nitrosamines are carcinogenic. NDMA is recognized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to be a carcinogen. NDMA so reliably causes cancer that it is used to create cancer in rats for cancer research.
Zantac has been sold in the United States since the 1980s and became available as an over-the-counter (OTC) medication in 2004. It is a histamine H2-receptor antagonist also known as a H2 blocker, which decreases the amount of acid produced by the stomach. People commonly use Zantac to treat ulcers, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, Barrett’s esophagus and other medical conditions caused by the excessive production of stomach acid. Zantac can also be used by some as part of their allergy treatment protocol. It has been taken by millions of consumers for over 35 years so it is anticipated that this litigation will be one of the largest in MDL history.
Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP® is a personal injury law firm whose practice is limited to protecting the rights of those wrongfully injured as a result of negligence. If you or a loved one have been injured, you can call our experienced team of attorneys toll-free at 1.800.LAW.1010 (1-800-529-1010).