An Ohio woman who allegedly developed acute interstitial nephritis after using Nexium and Prilosec has filed a new proton pump inhibitor lawsuit accusing the drugs’ manufacturers of concealing the kidney side effects allegedly associated with the popular heart burn medications.
According to a complaint filed on July 27th in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, Sandra Brown was prescribed Nexium, Prilosec, and Nexium 24HR in the 1990s, and continued to use the medications until January 2017. During that period, she was not aware that proton pump inhibitors could cause acute interstitial nephritis or other kidney complications.
Brown was diagnosed with acute interstitial nephritis in July 2016, and currently suffers from chronic kidney disease. She claims that these kidney complications were caused by her use of Nexium, Prilosec, and Nexium 24HR, and asserts she would have never used the drugs had their manufacturers provided the public with adequate safety warnings.
“In addition, at the time the subject product left the control of Defendants, there were practical and feasible alternative designs that would have prevented and/or significantly reduced the risk of Plaintiff’s injuries without impairing the reasonably anticipated or intended function of the product,” the complaint states. “These safer alternative designs were economically and technologically feasible – indeed they were already on the market – and would have prevented or significantly reduced the risk of Plaintiff’s injuries without substantially impairing the product’s utility.”
In December 2014, the labeling for Nexium, Prilosec, and other proton pump inhibitors was updated to note acute interstitial nephritis as a possible side effect. This sudden inflammation of the kidney tubules is often caused by a sensitivity reaction to a medication. Untreated, the disorder can lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.
In April 2015, a study published in CMAJ Open linked proton pump inhibitors to a 3-fold increase in the risk for acute interstitial nephritis, as well as a 2.5 times higher risk of acute kidney injury. Since then, several other studies have suggested that long-term treatment with proton pump inhibitors like Nexium might contribute to kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, and other serious renal injuries.
More than 160 product liability claims have been filed in federal courts on behalf of people who allegedly developed, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, kidney failure, and nephritis in connection with Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors. On August 2nd, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated those claims and transferred the docket to the District of New Jersey, where they will undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings. Any future lawsuits of this nature are also eligible for transfer to the new multidistrict litigation.
Centralization of the federal proton pump inhibitor litigation is intended to improve judicial efficiency by eliminating duplicative discovery and preventing inconsistent rulings on pretrial motions.