A Pennsylvania woman has filed a Nexium lawsuit on behalf of her late husband, who allegedly suffered chronic kidney disease, as well as acute kidney injury, due to treatment with the popular proton pump inhibitor. The complaint claims that Nexium’s manufacturers failed to warn the public that long-term treatment with the medication posed a risk to the kidneys.
According to a complaint filed on November 30, 2016 in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, Larry Hunter was prescribed Nexium on numerous occasions beginning in May 2006. He was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in December 2014, and with acute kidney injury in September 2015. At the time of both diagnoses, Hunter had been taking Nexium as prescribed.
“Despite being on notice as to the excessive risks of kidney injuries related to the use of Nexium, Defendants took no action to inform Decedent or Decedent’s physicians of this known risk,” the complaint states. “Rather, Defendants continued to represent that Nexium did not pose any risks of kidney injuries.”
“By omitting, concealing, and inadequately providing critical safety information regarding the use of Nexium in order to induce its purchase and use, Defendants engaged in and continue to engage in conduct likely to mislead consumers, including Plaintiff and Decedent, resulting in the Decedent developing kidney injuries,” the lawsuit continues.
Court documents indicate that more than a dozen proton pump inhibitor lawsuits have been filed in federal courts on behalf of individuals who allegedly developed serious kidney complications related to the use of Nexium and other drugs in this class. In January, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will consider a motion to centralize these and any future federal claims involving proton pump inhibitors and kidney injuries in a single U.S. District Court for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
The proton pump inhibitor litigation began to gain momentum following the publication of several studies that linked long-term use of the drug to serious kidney injuries. In April, for example, researchers writing 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 chronic kidney disease compared to patients using another class of heartburn drugs called H2-blockers. A 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%.