Nexium lawsuits and other kidney injury claims involving a class of heart burn drugs called proton pump inhibitors continue to move forward in a multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.
On July 30th, the Court issued a new Order that governs the form, procedure, and schedule for the completion and service of Defendant Fact Sheets (DFS).
There are currently more than 4,700 cases pending in the federal multidistrict litigation, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly developed kidney failure or other renal complications due to the long-term use of Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid, Protonix, or Dexilant.
The Court has directed all Defendants to serve a completed Fact Sheet for each Plaintiff Fact Sheet (PFS) served prior to the issuance of the July 30th Order either within 120 days from the date of the Order’s entry or within 120 from the date on which the PFS is deemed substantially complete.
For any PFS served after July 30th, the DFS must be served within 90 days from the date on which the PFS is substantially complete.
“Any Defendant may request one extension of thirty (30) days to serve a completed DFS, which the Plaintiff shall not unreasonably withhold,” the Order states. “Such requests must be made in writing via email to the Plaintiffs’ counsel before the expiration of the deadline.”
Every year, millions of Americans turn to Nexium or other proton pump inhibitors to relieve heart burn symptoms associated with GERD and other acid-related stomach ailments. Due to their popularity and easy availability – many prescription proton pump inhibitor brands have over-the-counter counterparts – few worry about the side effects potentially associated with these drugs. However, a growing body of research suggests that patients who use proton pump inhibitors over a long period of time may be more likely to develop kidney failure or other serious kidney complications.
In December 2014, for example, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered proton pump inhibitor manufacturers to update their labels to list acute interstitial nephritis, a sudden inflammation of the kidney tubules, as a potential side effect. Acute interstitial nephritis can lead to kidney failure if not treated in a timely manner.
Since then, studies have suggested that extended use of proton pump inhibitors may increase an individual’s risk for kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, and acute kidney injuries. However, no addition warnings have been included on the labels regarding any other renal risks.
Plaintiffs who have filed proton pump inhibitor lawsuits claim that Defendants have long been aware of the potential for drugs like Nexium to cause kidney failure and other renal injuries, yet failed to warn the public in order to protect sales of their products. Plaintiffs further allege that they could have avoided serious kidney complications had they and their doctors received proper notice from the drugs’ manufacturers.