June 25, 2024

More Legal Battles to Come Even as GSK Wins Zantac Case


A Chicago jury ruled in favor of drugmakers GSK Plc and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, rejecting claims that the heartburn drug Zantac caused Angela Valadez’s cancer. The ruling marks the first win for the companies in thousands of similar lawsuits, with Valadez seeking at least $640 million in damages. Despite the jury’s decision, Valadez’s lawyer plans to continue pursuing claims against Zantac, which was recalled by the FDA in 2019 due to NDMA concerns.

Editor’s Note: While GSK’s win may alleviate some immediate financial concerns, the company still faces a mountain of similar litigation. Zantac, once a blockbuster heartburn drug, was recalled in 2019 due to potential contamination with N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, a possible carcinogen. Although studies have not found a definitive link between Zantac and cancer, inconsistent results warrant further investigation. GSK’s history of litigation and ethical breaches suggests that one courtroom win does not vindicate the safety of its products or its for-profit business practices. We know GSK can use this win as proof for other cases against them, but to what extent? Is human life so dispensable that it can be decided upon by a group of jury and the court?

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