Lawsuits involving Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors continue to mount in courts around the U.S. Recent filings in California and Florida both claim that patients and doctors were never appropriately warned that drugs in this class could potentially harm the kidneys.
The first of these cases was recorded in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, on February 23rd. According to the lawsuit, Penelope Costamagna claims that her use of Prilosec resulted in the need for a kidney transplant. Her complaint charges Procter & Gamble Co., Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals LP and other defendants with counts of strict products liability, negligent misrepresentation and loss of consortium. (Case No. 2:17-cv-00409-MCE-EFB)
A second lawsuit filed on March 2nd in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, alleges that AstraZeneca, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Inc. misrepresented the safety of Prilosec and Protonix by indicating that the drugs had been tested and found to be safe for treatment of GERD and other peptic disorders. (Case No. 3:17-cv-00240-MMH-MCR)
Cheryl Lear used the prescription version of Prilosec from May 2012 through September 2013. In February 2013, her doctor prescribed Protonix, which Lear also used through September 2013. She was diagnosed with an acute kidney injury in March 2013, and claims that the ailment resulted from treatment with proton pump inhibitors.
“The injuries and damages sustained by Plaintiff; CHERYL LEAR, were caused by Defendants’ Prilosec and Protonix and their unlawful conduct with respect to their design, manufacture, marketing and sale,” the complaint alleges. “As a result of Defendants’ failure to warn and/or concealment of its knowledge that their Prilosec and Protonix caused kidney injuries, such as the one suffered by Plaintiff Cheryl Lear, Chery Lear did not discover, nor did she have reason to discovery, their wrongful conduct as alleged herein until July 2016.”
Numerous proton pump inhibitor users who went on to develop kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury and other renal ailments have put forth similar claims in lawsuits filed over the past year. These plaintiffs allege that the drugs’ manufacturers have long been aware that proton pump inhibitors could potentially harm the kidneys, yet failed to issue appropriate warnings to the public. Plaintiffs further assert that they could have avoided their kidney problems had proper warnings been furnished to consumers and the medical community.
In February, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) denied a petition to centralize all federally-filed proton pump inhibitor lawsuits in a single U.S. District Court. However, the litigation involving these medications continues to grow, and for now cases will progress through courts on an individual basis.