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A Tennessee woman indicates that she developed kidney cancer from generic valsartan and losartan tablets used to control her blood pressure, which were subsequently recalled after it was discovered that they contained carcinogenic impurities.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Norma Branham in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on July 12, naming Hetero Labs, Camber Pharmaceuticals, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and the Kroger Co. as defendants, as well as up to 100 unnamed individuals responsible for the manufacturing and distributing of the generic pills.
Over the last year, recalls have been issued for various different generic hypertension drugs containing the pharmaceutical ingredients valsartan, losartan and irbesartan, after it was discovered that the pills were distributed for years with chemicals known to increase the risk of cancer in humans, including Nitroso-dimethylamine (NDMA), N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), or other nitrosamine compounds. The recalls impacted much of the U.S. supply for the generic blood pressure drugs, and have been linked to a growing number of reports involving cancer.
Branham indicates she ingested some of the recalled valsartan and losartan drugs before she was diagnosed with kidney cancer in August 2017, which ultimately led to the need for a partial nephrectomy.
The recalled valsartan and losartan lawsuit presents claims of manufacturing defect, failure to warn, design defect, negligence and negligence per se, breach of warranty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of consumer protection statutes, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.
“Plaintiff would not have consented to taking the [valsartan] and [losartan containing drugs] at issue, had Plaintiff known of or been fully and adequately informed by Defendants of the true increased risks and serious dangers of taking the drugs, which were rendered unreasonably dangerous by the presence of NDMA, NDEA, and/or other nitrosamines,” the lawsuit states.
The case joins a growing number of valsartan and losartan lawsuits filed in recent months by individuals who indicate they were left with various different digestive tract cancers, including liver cancer, kidney cancer, gastric cancer, bladder cancer and other injuries linked to exposure to NDMA or NDEA.
In addition, a number of generic blood pressure drug 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.