Benicar Lawsuits Over Sprue-Like Enteropathy Begin to Mount in Federal Courts
Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories face a growing number of product liability lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country involving allegations that inadequate warnings were provided about the risk of chronic diarrhea and sprue-like enteropathy from side effects of Benicar.
While a number of Benicar lawsuits have been filed over the past six months in New Jersey state court, there has been a recent up-tick in complaints filed in the federal court system.
At least three lawsuits have been filed over the last week, with two cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and a third filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.
On December 5, a complaint (PDF) filed by Annette M. Johnson indicates that Benicar caused her to be hospitalized on multiple occasions due to chronic diarrhea, acute kidney failure, severe anemia, weakness, nausea and weight loss.
The same day, a nearly identical complaint (PDF) was filed by Pamela Bonner, describing similar injuries following use of the blood pressure drug, which also resulted in repeated hospitalizations.
This week, on December 8, a complaint (PDF) filed by James Manley in Oregon indicates that Benicar caused him to develop sprue-like enteropathy, resulting in multiple hospitalizations and leaving him with several other ailments that were caused by the chronic diarrhea and the various treatments doctors recommended to alleviate the problems that were caused by Benicar.
As Benicar injury lawyers continue to review and evaluate cases for individuals nationwide, as more and more lawsuits are brought in the federal court system, it is likely that a motion may soon be filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) seeking to centralize the cases before one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings and possibly a series of early “bellwether” trials, which would be designed to facilitate possible Benicar settlements among the various cases involving similar allegations.
Benicar Sprue-Like Enteropathy Risks
Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) is part of a family of Daiichi Sankyo hypertension drugs, which also includes Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor. All of the blood pressure drugs include the active ingredient olmesartan, which has been linked to the development sprue-like enteropathy.
Although the medication has been on the market for more than 10 years, information about the link between Benicar and diarrhea problems were not recognized within the medical community until recently, resulting in many former users experiencing complications from the medication for years.
In many cases, users have repeatedly been hospitalizations because doctors were unaware that the symptoms may be caused by their blood pressure medication. The Benicar problems have often been misdiagnosed as Celiac disease or unclassified sprue, resulting in continued use of the medication, which could leave users with long-term intestinal damage.
Although the diarrhea symptoms associated with sprue-like enteropathy typically resolve when the medication is no longer used, the problems can cause permanent damage to the intestines, known as villous atrophy from Benicar.
The first information about the risk was not provided until June 2013, when the FDA required Daiichi Sankyo to update the Benicar warning label more than 10 years after the drug was first introduced.
The updated warnings informed doctors that users may develop symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy months or even years after first use of the drug.
The federal drug regulators indicated that there was clear evidence of a causal connection, as most Benicar users suffering chronic diarrhea, weight loss or other gastrointestinal complications had the symptoms resolve when the medication was no longer used, with the issues returning if the medication is resumed.
Earlier this year, a number of users who experienced complications began filing lawsuits over Benicar in New Jersey state court, which is where Daiichi Sankyo’s U.S. headquarters are based.
While the drug makers did attempt to remove several early Benicar lawsuits to the federal court systems, plaintiffs were successful in obtaining remand back to New Jersey state court.
The complaints filed in both New Jersey state court and in various federal district courts raise similar allegations, claiming that the drug makers knew or should have known about the risk of problems with Benicar for years, yet withheld information about the fact that symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy that appear at any time following use may be caused by the drug.
cynthiaDecember 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm
I was told that Benicar could be fatal when I walked into a hospital emergency room on 10-25-2008 a had swelling around my eyes and face and since then I had to have a heart stent 6months later I ended having gastrointestinal problems stomach problem I was told about 2weeks ago my medication might not be taking to good because of my stomach I have had problem after problem and I pretty sure it is [Show More]I was told that Benicar could be fatal when I walked into a hospital emergency room on 10-25-2008 a had swelling around my eyes and face and since then I had to have a heart stent 6months later I ended having gastrointestinal problems stomach problem I was told about 2weeks ago my medication might not be taking to good because of my stomach I have had problem after problem and I pretty sure it is because on the Benicar I could go on and on
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