Sanofi, other drugmakers accused of intentionally hiding carcinogen in Zantac

Consumers have sued several Zantac manufacturers for allegedly failing to disclose that the heartburn drug can produce small amounts of a possible carcinogen, according to STAT.

Three separate lawsuits have been filed against GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi, which have all manufactured Zantac since it was approved in 1983.

The lawsuits allege the companies "deliberately refused" to test Zantac because they knew ingesting high levels of the potential carcinogen, n-nitrosodimethylamine, posed serious health risks.

The suits also allege thousands of people in the U.S. have developed cancer as a result of taking Zantac.

According to the lawsuits, a person who takes a daily 150 milligram dose of Zantac is exposed to 0.889 grams of NDMA in one year. The permissible limit established by the FDA is 0.000034 grams per year.

"Based on recent scientific findings, the levels of NDMA in Zantac are staggering. Considering how many people took Zantac in the U.S. since 1983, we are staring into the face of a public health crisis, and these defendants… are to blame," Brent Wisner, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told STAT.

The lawsuits come after the FDA and the European Medicines Agency began investigating the presence of NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine products last month.

Read the full article here.

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