The manufacturers of Prilosec have been hit with a new lawsuit over the drug’s alleged potential to cause acute interstitial nephritis and chronic kidney disease. The complaint, filed June 8th in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Ohio, claims that AstraZeneca and Procter & Gamble failed to provide the public with proper warnings regarding the renal side effects potentially associated with Prilosec.
Plaintiff Bryan Gross began using Prilosec OTC in 2009. He continued to take the medication through June 2015, when he was diagnosed with acute interstitial nephritis and chronic kidney disease. Mr. Gross was advised by a nephrologist to cease treatment following his diagnosis. The lawsuit charges that the kidney complications he experienced were brought on by years of Prilosec use.
“Defendants concealed and continue to conceal their knowledge of PPIs’ unreasonably dangerous risks from Plaintiff, his physicians, other consumers, and the medical community. Specifically, Defendants failed to adequately inform consumers and the prescribing medical community about the magnified risk of kidney injuries related to the use of PPIs,” the complaint alleges.
“As a result of Defendants’ actions and inactions, Plaintiff was injured due to his ingestion of PPIs, which caused and will continue to cause Plaintiff’s injuries and damages. Plaintiff accordingly seeks damages associated with these injuries and sequelae,” the lawsuit continues.
Proton pump inhibitors, including Nexium, Prilosec and PrevAcid, are approved for the short-term treatment of GERD and other peptic disorders related to the excess production of stomach acid. In 2013, more than 15 million Americans used a prescription proton pump inhibitor, while millions more have taken over-the-counter versions. However, some research has suggested that these drugs are being overused
The manufacturers of Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors are named defendants in more than 170 similar kidney injury lawsuits currently pending in courts throughout the country. Among other things, the complaints site several studies which have suggested long-term use of the drugs may increase a patient’s risk for serious kidney complications, including acute interstitial nephritis, chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Plaintiffs further assert that they could have avoided their renal injuries had they received proper notice of these risks.
Next month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will consider a proposal to centralize all federally-filed proton pump inhibitor lawsuits alleging kidney injury in a single U.S. District Court for the purposes of coordinated pretrial proceeding. This will mark the second time the Panel will take up this matter, as it rejected a similar proposal earlier this year. The JMPL cited several factors for its earlier decision, including the small number of cases pending at that time.