Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuit Parties Propose May 2020 for First Bellwether Trial

Published on June 13, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

The federal court overseeing thousands of kidney damage lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid, Dexilant, and Protonix has begun preparations for the multidistrict litigation’s first bellwether trials.

According to a Plaintiffs’ Letter filed with the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, on June 8th, the parties have reached an agreement on the litigation’s first such trial, proposing that it be convened in May 2020.

The matter was to be addressed by the Court yesterday, during the litigation’s June Status Conference. Other issues that were to be taken up at that time include:

  • Update on Tolling Agreement
  • Update on Plaintiff Fact Sheets (PFS) Deadlines, Extensions, Compliance
  • Providing PFS Reporting to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in Advance of Status Conferences
  • Scheduling Order, Document Production Schedule, and proposed discovery limits for the AstraZeneca and Takeda Defendants
  • Update on Defense Fact Sheet
  • Update on search term negotiations
  • Status of scheduling for 30(b)(6) depositions
  • Conference Dates for Future 2018 PPI Case Management Conferences.

Why are Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits Being Filed?

There are currently more than 4,200 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, all of which put forth similar allegations regarding the potential for Nexium and similar heart burn drugs to damage the kidneys, resulting in kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, and acute interstitial nephritis.

Millions of people throughout the United States use prescription and over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors to treat GERD and other acid-related stomach disorders. While they are widely believed to be safe, a growing body of research suggests that long-term use may increase an individual’s risk for bone fractures, certain bacterial infections, heart attacks, dementia, vitamin B deficiency, and low magnesium.

Studies Suggest Long-Term Proton Pump Inhibitor Use May Harm the Kidneys

In December 2014, the labels for prescription proton pump inhibitors were updated to note acute interstitial nephritis as a potential side effect. However, the prescribing information does not mention any other possible renal complications.

Since then, numerous studies have suggested that long-term proton pump inhibitor use may compromise kidney function:

  • A paper published by CMAJ Open in April 2015 that 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.
  • Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2016 which suggested that proton pump inhibitors might increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by as much as 50%.
  • A paper appearing in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in April 2016 that 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 H2-blockers.

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