Zantac Carcinogens Lead to Sanofi GlaxoSmithKline Investigation

September 30, 2021 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Zantac Carcinogens Lead to Sanofi GlaxoSmithKline Investigation

Investigating Claims that Zantac Causes Cancer

Zantac is a common over-the-counter medication intended to provide relief to those suffering from heartburn. Millions of Americans have used this drug to help ease this common ailment and as a result, may have been exposed to dangerous carcinogens like those found in Zantac. The companies that manufacture Zantac, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, are currently under investigation by the United States Department of Justice over whether or not they withheld information regarding the potential carcinogenic ingredients present in their product. 

What Does This Mean for Zantac Consumers?

The availability and widespread use of Zantac, or ranitidine as it is also known, makes this investigation troubling for many, to say the least. As consumers we expect those that provide us with goods and services to take proper care that they do not endanger us; at least not without providing some form of warning or disclosure as to the nature of the risk. Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline may be very powerful multinational pharmaceutical companies but that does not mean that they are beyond legal action over the possible health effects their product, Zantac, may have caused consumers. Companies that harm their consumers by putting potentially hazardous products on the market can be held liable for the injuries and damages that they cause with a product liability claim or lawsuit. The formal investigation of Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline over their possible withholding of information regarding the presence of carcinogens in Zantac is just one in a long line of developments regarding Zantac's links to cancer among its consumers. 

Filing a Zantac Lawsuit and the Sanofi GlaxoSmithKline Investigation 

Zantac and ranitidine manufacturers, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, are both currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice concerning their failure to disclose the presence of a cancer-causing agent in their heartburn medication. In April 2020, the FDA requested that Zantac recalls and ranitidine recalls occur across the country. What was the reason for the Zantac recalls? Independent studies found high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), especially when stored at higher than room temperatures or when kept for longer periods of time. They believe that the pharmaceutical giants violated the False Claims Act by failing to disclose this harmful agent. Failing to warn consumers of product risk is serious. Some studies showed the presence of cancer-causing NDMA as early as 1981. Plaintiffs filing Zantac lawsuits across the country believe that the pharmaceutical manufacturers left out NDMA reports and study results intentionally to mislead the public and reap larger profits. It adds yet more credibility to the already considerable evidence that this heartburn medication greatly increases the risk of cancer among those that use it. If the investigation concludes that Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline did in fact conceal or withhold information regarding carcinogens in their product then that would confirm their negligence without a doubt and greatly help any lawsuit seeking compensation for Zantac related damages.  Unfortunately, this latest development is a just part of the years long investigation by the FDA into impurities in ranitidine and Zantac and their link to cancer. In addition, the New Mexico Attorney General file a related Zantac lawsuit. The Zantac lawsuit alleges that these companies violated the state's unfair practices act, false advertising, public nuisance and negligence. This is not the first time either company has been in trouble with the FDA for producing dangerous drugs and products. In 2014, Britain's Serious Fraud Office launched an investigation into GSK's sales practices and China fined them $490m for bribery amid a public corruption scandal. In 2020, Sanofi was formally investigated over their epilepsy drug Depakine and faced charges of manslaughter.

Filing a Lawsuit Over Zantac Cancer 

Many have already taken legal action against Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline over cancer linked to the use of Zantac. Filing a lawsuit against these companies can get you the money that you need to deal with damages caused by Zantac linked cancer such as medical bills for cancer treatment, lost earning capacity, disability, as well as the pain and suffering that inevitably accompanies cancer. In order to effectively file a Zantac lawsuit against Sanofi and over their dangerous drug, you first need to have suffered some form of injury, typically cancer, because of the use of their product.  You need to be able to not only prove that you have suffered this severe injury with the right medical documentation but you must also be able to link it to the use of Zantac convincingly. Otherwise, the defense may argue that your cancer could have been caused by something else. In addition to this, you also need to have sufficient evidence that can prove the carcinogenic properties of whichever drug caused your cancer which in this case would be Zantac, as well as evidence of the liable party's negligence that caused this drug to harm you the consumer. 

Ranitidine Cancer and Product Liability 

When filing a lawsuit over Zantac, or its generic form ranitidine, your case will fall under the purview of product liability which deals with defective products that harm consumers. These defective products will typically fall into one of three categories.
  1. The product could have a defect in its design where its conceptualization or constitution contains an inherent flaw that is harmful. 
  2. The product could have a manufacturing defect that is caused by issues with the processes in which the product is made either in terms of its ingredients, assembly, etc.
  3. The product could have an issue with its labeling where there is an issue with how the product does not properly display important information to the consumer such as safety risks, directions of use, or dangerous reactions the product may cause and the consumer deserves and needs to know. 

Ranitidine Cancer Risk and NDMA

Zantac, falls into the first category of defective product lawsuit due to design. It is believed that ranitidine can react with certain enzymes in the human body to produce the nitrosamine impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which is classified as a probable carcinogen by the FDA. As a result, it can increase the risk of developing the following types of Zantac cancer.
  • Stomach
  • Colorectal
  • Intestinal
  • Bladder
  • Esophageal
  • Kidney
  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Testicular
  • Ovarian
  • Liver
  • Uterine
  • Pancreatic
  • Lung (if you've never smoked)
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma 
How high is the risk of Zantac causing cancer or ranitidine causing cancer? In 2004, a study found that individuals taking Zantac or ranitidine had a heightened risk of bladder cancer. A 2013 study found that individuals taking H2 blockers, such as ranitidine and Zantac, had a higher chance of being diagnosed with gastric cancer. A 2016 study at Stanford University found that volunteers taking 150mg of Zantac had NDMA levels higher than 47,000 nanograms in their urine. The actual amount in their body was even higher. Due to the risk of getting cancer when taking Zantac or ranitidine, it is important to discuss your medical options with your doctor. If you are diagnosed with cancer and you believe that long-term use of Zantac or ranitidine caused your cancer, you should speak to an experienced product liability attorney immediately.

Contact an Experienced Zantac Cancer Attorney

If you or a loved one have regularly used Zantac or ranitidine medications and have developed one of the aforementioned cancers then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about the possibility of seeking compensation for damages you may have suffered. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA offers free consultations to those who believe their cancer is linked to Zantac use. You do not have to suffer through your illness lying down while those that may be responsible count their dollars. If your injuries can be connected to the use of Zantac then you may be able to file a defective medication lawsuit against Sanofi to get the compensation you not only need but deserve as well.  Our attorneys are ready to speak with you about what they can do to help get you that compensation and what legal options may be available to you depending on the details of your case. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA specializes in holding these groups accountable for their negligence and recovering settlements for those that have suffered because of this negligence. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has served the people of Florida for years by providing award-winning legal representation that has earned us a long history of successful cases both settled out of court and hard-won at trial. Contact us today to get the compensation you deserve from a Zantac Lawsuit. You can reach our office by either calling (833) 606-DRUG [3784] or fill out a contact form online. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 3375 (833) 606-DRUG [3784]  


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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