September 24, 2019 | Firm News
The lawsuits are mounting following a 2018 U.S. Food and Drug (FDA) recall of hundreds of medications containing Valsartan, which were contaminated with a chemical known to cause cancer. Valsartan is one of the most commonly used medications in the country and is prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. The dangerous drug lawyers at The Dunken Law Firm are currently reviewing potential Valsartan cases across America. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a cancer-related illness that you believe to be linked to taking Valsartan, we urge you to schedule a risk-free consultation with our firm. Speak to a lawyer at no cost to you, by calling (713) 554-6780 or through our request form online.
The medication Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) used both for lowering blood pressure and treating heart failure. It works by relaxing blood vessels and allowing the kindneys to effectively remove water and salt.
The FDA made a discovery in 2018 that certain batches of Valsartan produced by the Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals (ZHP) and a company called Hetero Labs Limited in India, have been contaminated with the known carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled NDMA as a probable human carcinogen. It is known to cause liver tumors in certain animals and has been used by scientists to create cancer in rats, in order to conduct studies. Some of the drugs tested also contained a second carcinogen, referred to as N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). There is reason to believe NDEA causes cancer in humans, due to it causing cancer in animals and because it is also used in research studies to generate liver tumors.
Changes to the way ZHP was manufacturing Valsartan is how the FDA believes the contamination occurred. Since then, the FDA has banned ZHP from importing any medications or drug ingredients into the US.
Numerous drug companies responsible for selling the contaminated medication have placed voluntarily recalls. Some of the pharmaceutical companies involved include:
A comprehensive list of all recalled ARBs, including Valsartan, can be found on the FDA’s Recalled ARB Products List.
Valsartan cases have not yet made it to trial and as of now, there have been no settlements. However, there are many cases that have been consolidated into a Valsartan multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey. An MDL is a federal procedure used to temporarily combine similar lawsuits into one court. This is used to speed up pretrial proceedings, as well as to encourage reaching a settlement. A few of the cases will be allowed to go to trial, known as “bellwether trials.” The outcomes of these first trials will then serve as indicators as to how other trials would turn out if they were to proceed.
Victims who have experienced Valsartan-related cancer are seeking compensation for the following damages:
The Dunken Law Firm serves clients nationwide, and our dangerous drug attorneys have more than 25 years of experience successfully fighting big pharmaceutical companies. Call our office at (713) 554-6780 or fill out our request form online to schedule a free case consultation.