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Nexium MDL Formed for Bone Fracture Lawsuits

December 10, 2012 — Federal judges have ordered that nearly 40 Nexium bone fracture lawsuits and class actions in 19 different courts must be centralized. The Multi-District Litigation (MDL) will be located in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California before Judge Dale S. Fisher.

The JPML decision will overrule objections from AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of Nexium, who argued that many of the cases involved different types of fractures, other drugs, and had progressed to a point where they were not appropriate for centralization in an MDL.

The JPML disagreed, arguing that the centralization would improve efficiency and expedient, reduce duplicative discovery, and reduce the chances of conflicting rulings. In the decision, one judge wrote:

“The actions share allegations relating to the safety of Nexium and the adequacy of AstraZeneca’s warnings concerning the possible adverse side effects of using Nexium – in particular, the potential that Nexium may cause bone-related injuries such as osteoporosis, bone deterioration or loss and broken bones.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the first Safety Communication in May 2010, warning that Nexium may increase the risk of bone fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine. The FDA updated that warning in March 2011 after determining that the risk probably only extended to high-dose, long-term use of the drug for more than a year, and not over-the-counter Nexium.

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