Parties to Proton Pump Inhibitor Kidney Lawsuits at Odds Over Discovery

Published on February 22, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

Plaintiffs who have filed kidney damage lawsuits against the manufacturers of Nexium, Prilosec and Prilosec OTC have asked the judge overseeing the federal proton pump inhibitor litigation to intervene in several discovery disputes that have erupted between the parties.

Plaintiffs Slam AstraZeneca, Proctor & Gamble Over Document Production

In a letter sent to U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi, District of New Jersey, on February 13th, plaintiffs’ attorneys complained of ongoing issues and delays involving document production by AstraZeneca – the maker of Prilosec and Nexium. The letter requested that she consider scheduling bi-weekly teleconferences to address these ongoing issues and delays.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers  sent a second letter to Judge Cecchi on February 16th concerning discovery issues related to Proctor & Gamble, which markets Prilosec OTC.

“The PSC (Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee) is concerned that P&G’s document production is moving way too slowly (actually it may not even be moving at all),” according to the letter filed February 16. “The PSC requests that the P&G Defendants be ordered to produce documents and other information on a court-imposed deadline, with specific dates set forth.”

The plaintiffs have asked that Judge Cecchi convene a specific hearing related to the Proctor & Gamble discovery issues.

The Court will take up these concerns later today, during the litigation’s regularly-scheduled status conference.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuit Overview

Around 650 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits are pending in the District of New Jersey, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who  developed serious kidney complications – including kidney failure, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and acute interstitial nephritis – allegedly related to long-term proton pump inhibitor use.

Specific drugs involved in the federal proceeding include:

  • Nexium
  • Nexium 24HR
  • Prilosec
  • Prilosec OTC
  • PrevAcid
  • PrevAcid 24HR
  • Dexilant
  • Protonix

The proton pump inhibitor litigation began to grow following the publication of several studies that linked long-term use to a significant increase in the risk for kidney failure, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and acute interstitial nephritis.

While the U.S. Food & Drug Administration ordered proton pump inhibitor manufacturers to add information about acute interstitial nephritis to their product labels in December 2014, the drugs’ prescribing information fails to note any other potential renal complications.

Plaintiffs pursuing these claims allege that proton pump inhibitor manufacturers concealed the potential for serious kidney complications from doctors and patients. They contend that they could have avoided their injuries had proper warnings regarding the drugs’ potential renal side effects been provided to the public and medical community.

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