Big Pharma facing class-action lawsuit over allegedly cancer-causing heartburn drug Zantac
04/04/2022 // Mary Villareal // Views

Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and other drug companies are now facing class-action lawsuits from individuals who developed cancer after taking Zantac. The drug was found to be contaminated with a chemical that can cause cancer.

Two years ago, many outlets reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an immediate recall of the drug ranitidine, best known by its brand name Zantac.

Lawyer Brent Wisner said even though the FDA recalled Zantac in 2020, evidence showed that the drug companies knew the profitable heartburn drug was contaminated with cancer-causing agent N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) for decades but continued to sell them anyway.

He explained that NDMA was a very potent human carcinogen that was discovered in the 1930s, during the development of rocket fuel. He said it "literally has no purpose in our world, except for the fact that it causes cancer," adding that it is used in laboratory experiments to induce cancer in animals.

"[NDMA] is probably something that has caused an innumerable number of people's cancers, because it was such a widely used product," Wisner said. Some of the cancers linked to Zantac include cancers of the bladder, liver, stomach, colorectal organs, prostate and breast. (Related: Popular heartburn drug may have given millions of people cancer, found contaminated with cancer chemical.)

The FDA told all drug manufacturers to stop selling Zantac made with ranitidine in the United State in 2020 because NDMA contamination can increase over time. The longer the drug sits on the shelf, the greater the amount of NDMA develops – and the FDA has no idea how long it has been in Zantac.


Sanofi's new drug, Zantac 260, however, was made with famotidine and is not part of the recalls or lawsuits.

Meanwhile, ranitidine lawsuits claim that Zantac's design is defective because its active ingredient is an unstable molecule. The drug label failed to properly warn the public about the risk of cancer as well.

Doctors who diagnosed patients with cancer after taking Zantac said these people had no family history or genetic markers for cancer. Instead, the patients were told that their cancers were caused by something from the environment, which could include NDMA contamination.

Bladder cancer has the strongest connection to Zantac so far, but other health issues can also be claimed in the lawsuits.

People diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac were also diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) and Chron's disease.

PPH is a rare lung disorder that causes high blood pressure in the lungs and usually happens when the blood vessels in the lungs narrow and raise the pressure in the pulmonary artery level above normal levels.

Chron's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes the digestive tract to become inflamed, causing severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps and weight loss.

Several conditions must be satisfied to join class-action lawsuit

Zantac lawyers said people must satisfy several conditions to join the class-action lawsuit: proven Zantac use, a cancer diagnosis and a connection between the two. The lawyers are also only accepting claims from people who took the brand name Zantac – generic ranitidine is no longer included. (Related: Virginia woman SUES Zantac for heartburn drug that gave her esophageal cancer.)

Potential claimants will have to prove that they took the brand name Zantac with ranitidine for at least one year before being diagnosed with cancer, and those who have a prescription can provide proof through medical records. However, those who took over-the-counter Zantac must have a receipt and other evidence that showed they took the drugs, such as a statement or doctor's note.

The main injury claimed in Zantac and ranitidine lawsuits is cancer. Potential claimants have to be diagnosed with bladder, stomach, esophageal, liver or pancreatic cancer and there must be less than 20 years between the last time a potential client took Zantac and their first cancer diagnosis. Potential claimants should also have received their first cancer diagnosis at age 89 or younger.

To prove the connection between cancer and Zantac, claimants should be taking higher medication doses consistently. The length of time that someone has used the drug can also affect the case. To qualify, the claimant should have taken Zantac at least once a week for a year or longer.

More news like this can be found at

Watch the video below for more information about Zantac and its cancer-causing agents.

This video is from the NewsClips channel on

More related stories:

FDA: Research unveils cancer-causing chemicals found in popular medications used for heartburn.

Popular hypertension drug found to contain high levels of a CANCER-CAUSING ingredient.

Chemists finally identify the molecule responsible for a carcinogen in recycled wastewater.

Zantac side effects and nutritional deficiencies.

Pfizer suspends distribution of anti-smoking drug after cancer-causing agents found in the pills.

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