Third Valsartan Recall Class Action Filed – Will There Be More?

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Lawyers have filed the latest in a string of valsartan class action lawsuits. The filing in Missouri was the third in less than four weeks.

The class action lawsuits follow a massive recall of generic versions of valsartan starting in July. Tests showed a potentially cancer-causing contaminant in several brands of the popular blood pressure medicine.

Since then, U.S. companies have announced 17 recalls of more than 75 versions of valsartan. More than 2,300 batches were part of worldwide recalls.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration traced the contamination to factories in China and India. It found valsartan sold since 2012 may have been contaminated.

The class action lawsuits do not seek compensation for cancer-related valsartan side effects. They only demand that certain companies that made or sold tainted valsartan repay people who bought it.

But attorneys expect to begin filing individual valsartan cancer lawsuits later this year. They expect it could be a major, nationwide action by early 2019.

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Valsartan Contaminated with NDMA, NDEA

Companies began recalling valsartan in July when tests showed NDMA in the medicine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists NDMA as a “probable human carcinogen.”

The Chinese company that made the tainted valsartan blamed it on a change in the manufacturing process dating back to 2012. The factory supplied several different pharmaceutical companies that sold the drug in the U.S. and at least 22 other countries.

The FDA has linked at least two other factories — a second one in China and one in India — to the contamination.

Earlier this month, the FDA found a second impurity in some of the valsartan already recalled. Tests revealed NDEA in some batches of the recalled products. NDEA is a known cancer-causing chemical in animals and is suspected of causing cancer in humans.

The FDA maintains updated lists of recalled valsartan as well as versions that are not under recall.

Valsartan Class Action Lawsuits Seek Money Back

The Missouri valsartan class action follows earlier ones filed in New York and New Jersey. All three were filed on behalf of all consumers who bought valsartan from the companies named in the lawsuits.

Each demands that companies repay people what they spent on tainted valsartan as far back as 2012. The lawsuits name multiple defendants. These include the companies that manufactured the medicines and the pharmaceutical companies that sold them.

Valsartan Class Action Lawsuits as of September 2018
DATE FILED WHO FILED DEFENDANTS NAMED WHERE FILED
Aug. 16, 2018 Elizabeth Duffy, Bronx, New York

John Duffy, Nyack, New York

Solco Healthcare, U.S.

Prinston Pharmaceutical

Walgreen Co.

Throggs Neck Pharmacy

Southern District, New York
Aug. 31, 2018 Eric Erwin, Texas Prinston Pharmaceutical

Solco Healthcare

Huahai U.S.

Teva Pharmaceuticals

District of New Jersey
Sept. 11, 2018 James Jones, St. Louis, Missouri Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical

Prinston Pharmaceutical

Solco Healthcare

Huahai U.S.

Eastern District, Missouri

Valsartan Cancer Lawsuits Are Possible in Late 2018

No one has filed any cancer-related valsartan lawsuits yet. But lawyers expect the first filings could happen in November.

Attorneys have begun signing up hundreds of clients who developed cancer after taking the medicine.

Valsartan lawyers advise people to keep any recalled valsartan they still have. It could be used as evidence for their cases.

Types of cancer claims expected in valsartan lawsuits:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer

Valsartan Lawyers Expect Multidistrict Litigation

Valsartan attorneys also expect the individual lawsuits to be consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) in early 2019.

MDLs combine several similar cases to allow them to move more efficiently through the legal process. A federal panel often creates an MDL when there is a large number of lawsuits over a particular product.

Valsartan lawsuits will most likely name Zhejiang Huahai and Hetero Labs as defendants. These are the companies that ran the factories where much of the contaminated medicine was made.

Teva Pharmaceuticals and Solco Healthcare are also likely defendants. They were two of the biggest clients of the factories. But at least 15 other pharmaceutical companies could be named in valsartan cancer lawsuits.

Lawsuits may expand to other drugs in valsartan’s class such as losartan. The European Medicines Agency is investigating potential contamination in other drugs in the class.

What to Do If You Suffered Side Effects of Recalled Valsartan

People who developed cancer or had to be hospitalized for liver problems after taking valsartan may be able to file a valsartan lawsuit.

They should gather medical or insurance records and preserve any valsartan they still have for testing. And they should talk to a valsartan lawyer.

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Terry Turner
Written By Terry Turner Writer

Terry Turner has been writing articles and producing news broadcasts for more than 25 years. He covers FDA policy, proton pump inhibitors, and medical devices such as hernia mesh, IVC filters, and hip and knee implants. An Emmy-winning journalist, he has reported on health and medical policy issues before Congress, the FDA and other federal agencies. Some of his qualifications include:

  • American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
  • Original works published or cited in Washington Examiner, MedPage Today and The New York Times
  • Appeared as an expert panelist on hernia mesh lawsuits on the BBC
Edited By

11 Cited Research Articles

  1. U.S. District Court, Eastern Dist. of Missouri. (2018, September 11). Jones v. Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd., et al. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  2. U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. (2018, August 31). Erwin v. Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc., et al. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  3. U.S. District Court, Southern Dist. of New York. (2018, August 16). Duffy v. Solco Healthcare U.S., LLC, et al. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  4. HarrisMartin Publishing. (2018, August 20). Class Action Targets Drug Makers Who Sold NDMA-Contaminated Valsartan Drugs. Retrieved from https://harrismartin.com/article/23760/class-action-targets-drug-makers-who-sold-ndma-contaminated-valsartan-drugs/
  5. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, September 24). Products Under the Valsartan Recall. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm613916.htm
  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, July 13). FDA Announces Voluntary Recall of Several Medicines Containing Valsartan Following Detection of an Impurity. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm613532.htm
  7. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, August 9). FDA updates recalled valsartan-containing product information. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm613916.htm?utm_campaign=FDA%20MedWatch%20Recall%20Notice%20-%20Valsartan-Containing%20Product%20by%3A%20Hetero%20Labs&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua
  8. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, July 17). FDA announces voluntary recall of several medicines containing valsartan following detection of an impurity. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/UCM613532.htm?utm_campaign=07132018_PR_FDA%20announces%20recall%20of%20several%20valsartan%20medicines&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua
  9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, July 18). FDA updates health care professionals and patients on recent valsartan recalls. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm613916.htm
  10. Watts, G. (2019, August. 7). Two more Chinese pharma groups hit by drugs scandal. Retrieved from http://www.atimes.com/article/two-more-chinese-pharma-groups-hit-by-drugs-scandal/
  11. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2000, January). N-Nitrosodimethylamine. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/n-nitrosodimethylamine.pdf
View All Sources
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