Update on Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of drugs that decrease the production of stomach acid. They are often used to treat ailments such as acid reflux and GERD. Some of these drugs are over the counter while others require a prescription. Commonly known names include Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec, among others.
Some patients have experienced heart attacks, cancer, bone fractures, and damage to their kidneys after using PPIs. Unfortunately, not all potential injuries were listed on the drugs’ labels, even though the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that pharmaceutical manufacturers list any drug’s potential side effects. Patients have sued the manufacturers for their injuries, and as a result, some have received multi-million dollar settlements.
PPI Lawsuits Related to Kidney Damage Increase
Recently, there has been an increase in lawsuits claiming that PPIs cause kidney damage and, in some cases, kidney failure. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim that drug manufacturers have known about the kidney risks since at least 2004, but failed to warn patients of the risks until 2014.
A 2017 study that looked at 125,000 PPI patients over five years revealed that PPIs could lead to “silent kidney damage.” Specifically, one of the study’s researchers, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly stated that “[k]idney problems can develop silently and gradually over time, eroding kidney function and leading to long-term kidney damage or even renal failure.” Certain patients developed Chronic Kidney Disease even though they never had any sign of kidney trouble before using PPIs.
Yet another study suggested that long-term PPI users were 95 percent more likely to develop kidney failure. Even so, there continues to be zero warning on PPI labels about potential kidney damage. Dr. Al-Aly recommends that patients tell their doctors if they are taking PPIs and “and only use the drugs when necessary.”
Status of PPI Kidney Lawsuits
As of today, there are nearly 5,000 PPI lawsuits pending in the Federal Court system, but so far, none of these cases have gone to trial. The vast majority are against the manufacturers of Nexium and Prilosec. A Boston drug injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a drug manufacturer.
In an effort to streamline the litigation, a panel of the federal judiciary recently combined PPI cases into a multi district litigation (MDL) in the Federal District Court of New Jersey. Courts use this procedural tool to consolidate and streamline cases involving common facts and issues so that they can be resolved sooner. At the time the cases were consolidated in August, 2017, there were about 200. Now, that number has risen to almost 5,000. New cases may be added to the PPI MDL, regardless of where the patient resides.
The First Trial in the PPI Kidney Lawsuits has Been Scheduled
No PPI kidney case has yet gone to trial, but the first one is scheduled for September 21, 2020. To date, there have been no significant settlements in any PPI-related kidney cases. The results of the first substantial settlements will likely shape those in future cases, as both parties will get a sense of how effective their arguments are to a jury. A MA drug injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a drug manufacturer. Continue reading