Pfizer Agrees to Settle 10,000 Lawsuits Accusing Pharma Giant of Hiding Cancer Risks of Heartburn Drug Zantac

Pfizer has agreed to settle more than 10,000 lawsuits alleging it it of hiding the cancer risks of its heartburn drug Zantac.

The financial details have not been revealed but pharma rival Sanofi agreed to pay more than $100million to resolve 4,000 Zantac-cancer claims last nonth.

The over-the-counter pill was pulled in the US in 2020 after animal studies found a key ingredient released ‘probable human carcinogens’.

Pfizer was the primary manufacturer of Zantac from 1998 to 2006, when several suits claim it should have known that the drug was contaminated with NDMA.

Plaintiffs claimed the drug was contaminated with the impurity through improper manufacturing practices, and that Pfizer withheld this information from consumers.

NDMA is a chemical byproduct of many industrial manufacturing processes, including the production of rocket fuel.

It’s also common in low quantities in many foods, such as cured or smoked meats, fish and beer as well as tobacco smoke.

NDMA is a ‘forever chemical,’ meaning that it doesn’t degrade, or break down, naturally in our bodies and is believed to cause DNA damage.

Since the drug was pulled and reformulated, thousands of lawsuits began piling up in federal and state courts against Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, who have all owned the rights to the medication.

The Pfizer agreements cover cases in US state courts but don’t completely resolve the company’s exposure to Zantac claims, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Financial details of the deals were not immediately available.


‘Pfizer has explored and will continue to explore opportunistic settlements of certain cases if appropriate, and has settled certain cases,’ the New York-based company said via email.

‘The company has not sold a Zantac product in more than 15 years and did so only for a limited period of time.’

There have been no cancer cases officially linked to Zantac, the WHO states, though thousands of patients have alleged otherwise.

Animal studies have shown that NDMA can increase the risk of cancers in the esophagus, kidneys, and stomach. They have also been linked to colorectal cancer, which is on the rise among young Americans.

The FDA ordered all products with rantidine – the active ingredient in Zantac – be removed from shelves in 2020 and urged patients to stop taking any medications containing the ingredient.

Written by Connor Boyd for the Daily Mail ~ May 8, 2024

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