A Kentucky woman has filed a Dexilant lawsuit after allegedly developing chronic kidney disease due to treatment with the proton pump inhibitor. Her complaint, which was filed on December 8th in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, claims that Takeda Pharmaceuticals ignored evidence linking Dexilant to a range of renal injuries, and failed to provide doctors and patients with appropriate warnings about these risks. (Case No. No. 16-11199)
According to her lawsuit, the Plaintiff began treatment with Dexilant on February 12, 2013 and continued using it until approximately January 16, 2015. She was later diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease Stage III, and alleges that Dexilant caused her to sustain severe and permanent personal injuries, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
“Defendants have had notice of serious adverse health outcomes through case reports, clinical studies and post-market surveillance,” her complaint asserts. “These reports of numerous kidney injuries put Defendants on notice as to the excessive risks of kidney injuries related to the use of Dexilant. However, Defendants took no action to inform Plaintiff or Plaintiffs physicians of this known risk. Instead, Defendants continued to represent that Dexilant did not pose any risks of kidney injuries.
This lawsuit is just one of more than a dozen filed in recent months involving proton pump inhibitors and serious kidney injuries, including renal failure and chronic kidney disease. Medications in this class, such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, among others, have been used by millions of people to relieve symptoms associated with GERD and other peptic disorders. However, plaintiffs claim that between 25% and 75% of all proton pump inhibitor prescriptions have no appropriate indication and that approximately a quarter of long-term users could discontinue treatment without developing any symptoms.
The litigation involving Dexilant and other proton pump inhibitors began to grow after studies were published that linked long-term use of the drugs to increased kidney risks. In April, for example, a paper that appeared in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reported that long-term users of proton pump inhibitors may be 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to develop kidney disease compared to patients using another class of heartburn drugs called H2-blockers. Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January also suggested that proton pump inhibitors might increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by as much as 50%.
Next month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will consider a motion to transfer all federally-filed proton pump inhibitor cases involving kidney complications to a single U.S. District Court for the purposes of coordinated pretrial proceedings.