Drug stores like Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS are pulling Zantac (ranitidine) and its generic varieties from shelves due to concerns that the popular heartburn medications may contain a possible cancer-causing chemical. Here’s the latest.

Alarm Bells from the FDA

On September 13, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement alerting patients and health care professionals of a “probable human carcinogen,” n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), found in some ranitidine medicines during laboratory tests.

On September 26, 2019, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine tablets (75 mg and 150 mg) manufactured by Apotex Corp and labeled by Walgreens, Walmart and Rite-Aid. The agency’s research has led them to believe these medicines may contain low levels on NDMA, and they suggest consumers consider using alternate OTC products.

The FDA is conducting ongoing testing on ranitidine products from various manufacturers and assessing possible effects the drug might have on patients who take it regularly. The FDA has also asked of manufacturers to conduct their own lab tests on ranitidine to observe levels of potential NDMA, as well as send those samples to the FDA to be tested by scientists within the agency.

About the Growing Litigation

Sanofi Aventis US LLC, manufacturer of Zantac, is now under fire.

A Florida man diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 has accused Sanofi of knowingly selling a drug that contains a probable carcinogen. He claims his breast cancer is a result of using Zantac regularly to treat his heartburn and acid reflux. This lawsuit is the first of its type in the United States.

According to Joseph L. Galimidi’s lawsuit, lab testing found that one dose of Zantac contains more than 3 million nanograms of NDMA, a stark contrast to the FDA’s approved daily limit of 96 nanograms.

“It’s no secret that NDMA has been studied for quite some time, and NDMA is classified as a probable or likely human carcinogen,” said Galimidi’s attorney. “We are alleging that the drug manufacturers knew about the danger and suppressed the evidence in order to keep selling Zantac.”

He expects thousands more Zantac users to join in the lawsuit in the coming weeks.

Getting Involved

If you expect to take on Zantac cases in the future, it’s important to stay up-to-date with this growing litigation. It’s also imperative you have an efficient intake process ready to convert each quality lead into a case.

If your firm’s intake system isn’t equipped for a large-scale campaign, you can partner with a specialized legal call center, like Alert Communications. A legal call center can help you optimize your marketing investment and gain the greatest ROI possible. Alert has the tools and resources to provide the additional call-answering, intake and retainer support needed for a large-scale campaign.