December 23, 2014 — Lawyers have asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to centralize dozens of lawsuits involving Daiichi Sankyo’s blood-pressure drug Benicar into a federal court in Ohio.
The motion (PDF) was filed on behalf of Annette Johnson, a woman who was diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy after taking Benicar. She is one of 15 people with similar injuries who have filed federal lawsuits against Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories Inc.
Nine of those lawsuits are already pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, where lawyers want the rest of the litigation consolidated under Judge Dan A. Polster.
Dozens more lawsuits are expected to be filed in the next few months. Another 30 cases, filed by eight different law firms, are pending in a consolidated litigation in New Jersey.
All of the lawsuits claim that Benicar is a defective, unreasonably dangerous medication that was promoted without adequate warnings by the defendants.
Benicar (olmesartan) is a prescription medication for the treatment of high blood pressure. It belongs to a class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
The FDA approved Benicar in 2002. In July 2013, they issued a warning after finding a “clear association” between Benicar and 23 cases of sprue-like enteropathy, a disease that causes “severe chronic diarrhea with substantial weight-loss.”
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota first reported the connection in August 2012. They were concerned about the lack of warnings about gastrointestinal illness from Benicar. Several patients were misdiagnosed with Celiac disease or other conditions, resulting in years of unnecessary medical treatment.
In 2012, nearly 2 million patients received a prescription for Benicar. It is unknown how many of them developed sprue-like enteropathy, but recent studies suggest the side effect is not as rare as was previously believed. Attorneys warn that the current number of cases could be “the tip of the iceberg.”
Do I have a Benicar Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Benicar induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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