Benicar Lawsuit Updates
At least 2,300 lawsuits have been filed against Daiichi Sankyo by plaintiffs who accused the company of misrepresenting the safety of olmesartan, and inadequately warning about the drug’s risks. Sold under the brand names Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor, olmesartan has been linked to severe gastrointestinal problems and even death.
On August 1, 2017, Daiichi Sankyo agreed to pay $300 million to settle all cases if 95% of all claimants opt in. The company did not admit liability, though, and claims the drug is safe. Glenn Gormley told Reuters, “We believe a settlement is in the best interest of all, and will allow us to continue our focus on bringing to market innovative medicines that help people live healthy and meaningful lives.”
Common Benicar Lawsuit Claims
All adverse drug reactions should be reported to the FDA through their MedWatch program. If you have suffered stomach problems after taking Benicar, or related olmesartan drugs, you may have the right to file a lawsuit, and should speak with an attorney familiar with these cases. Because of the severity of this condition, patients may file suit for several reasons:
- Compensation for missed wages during treatment and recovery
- Repayment of medical bills resulting from tests, treatments and hospitalization
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Punitive damages to punish manufacturers for their negligence
You have a right to safe medications with adequate warning labels. See the consumer bill of rights to learn more. If you believe you’ve been injured by this drug, seek out an attorney with experience in these types of cases.
Drugs Involved in Lawsuits
Several different drugs contain the active ingredient olmesartan medoxomil under different brand names. If you are experiencing severe GI side effects from one, symptoms are unlikely to improve by switching to another.
- Benicar — olmesartan medoxomil
- Benicar HCT — olmesartan medoxomil + hydroclorothiazide
- Azor — olmesartan medoxomil + amlodipine
- Tribenzor — olmesaratan medoxomil + hydroclorothiazide + amlodipine
- Olmetec — olmesartan medoxomil sold in Europe and Canada
History of Benicar Lawsuits
This is not the first time Daiichi Sanyko has been in legal trouble over Benicar. In 2015, the biopharmaceutical company paid $40 million to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle an allegation by the government agency that Daiichi Sankyo had made illegal payments to doctors in return for prescribing Benicar and other drugs to their patients from 2005 through 2011.
When such a high number of lawsuits are brought before the federal court system, they are often consolidated using a method known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). While each case is still considered an individual case, the common features of the collective lawsuits are tried in a similar fashion under one or a handful of justices. This allows the cases to be tried consistently, using the same level of evidence and scrutiny.
Lawsuits related to Benicar and other olmesartan drug products created by Daiichi Sankyo have been consolidated into an MDL case in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. The MDL number for Benicar lawsuits is MDL 2606.
Daiichi Sankyo Benicar Lawsuit Settlements
A $300 million settlement fund was agreed upon by Daiichi Sankyo in August 2017. The pharmaceutical company did not admit liability, issuing the following statement: “We believe a settlement is in the best interest of all, and will allow us to continue our focus on bringing to market innovative medicines that help people live healthy and meaningful lives.”
The fund, capped at $300 million, would be used to settle approximately 2,300 pending cases, and cover legal fees.
Severe Benicar Side Effects
Several medical studies have investigated the connection between Benicar and spruelike enteropathy—severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss that can lead to intestinal damage. This condition was previously attributed to celiac disease, until further investigation found links to olmesartan. One report from the Mayo Clinic in 2012 was among the first to find a connection. Two more studies done in 2013 and 2014 came to similar conclusions about the drug-induced enteropathy related to Benicar side effects.
Injury reports and studies lead the FDA to approve new warning labels for Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor in 2013, stating: “If patients taking olmesartan medoxomil develop these symptoms and no other cause is found, the drug should be discontinued.”According to the Master Long Form Complaint, plaintiffs in MDL 2606 cases have suffered a wide range of ill effects after taking Benicar.
Benicar Lawsuit Claims
- Serious gastrointestinal injuries
- Olmesartan Associated Enteropathy (“OAE”)
- Spruelike enteropathy
- Villous atrophy, blunting, or damage
- Chronic diarrhea
- Kidney failure
- Weight loss
- Abdominal and gastrointestinal pain
The primary complaint by these plaintiffs is that Daiichi Sankyo either knew or should have known about these possible injuries, and that they failed to customers of these potential dangers.