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According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, a Louisiana man was diagnosed with kidney cancer following exposure to generic valsartan pills, which were distributed for years with carcinogens that were a byproduct of the manufacturing process for the blood pressure drug.
Raymond Rollins filed the complaint (PDF) last month in New Jersey federal court, indicating he received contaminated valsartan pills for years before the generic drug makers announced recalls.
The lawsuit names Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co., Prinston Pharmaceutical, Inc., Solco Healthcare, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Actavis as defendants, indicating that they manufactured blood pressure drugs Rollins received between September 2013 and February 2017. Due to chemical impurities contained in the pills, Rollins indicates that he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in April 2018.
Although the drug makers knew or should have known about the potential risks associated with their pills, the lawsuit indicates that warnings were not provided to consumers or the medical community until several months after his cancer diagnosis, when the FDA began a string of generic valsartan recalls.
“As a result of Plaintiff’s ingestion of contaminated valsartan, Plaintiff developed and was diagnosed with cancer, which caused permanent and disabling injuries,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff would not have consented to taking valsartan, had Plaintiff known of or been fully and adequately informed by Defendants of the true increased risks and serious dangers of taking the drug, which was rendered unreasonably dangerous by the presence of NDMA and/or NDEA.”
The case joins a growing number of valsartan recall lawsuits filed in recent months by individuals who indicate they were left with liver cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, gastric cancer and other injuries following exposure to the chemicals N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) or N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) found in recalled valsartan pills.
In addition, a number of valsartan class action claims are pursuing damages for users of the medications who have not been diagnosed with cancer, but seek reimbursement for the cost of what were essentially worthless drugs, and funding for medical monitoring they may require for the rest of their lives due to their exposure to cancer-causing agents.