Kirtland & Packard, LLP is pleased to announce that a settlement has been reached on behalf of its many clients in the Benicar litigation. The $300 million settlement agreement was negotiated by the Plaintiffs’ Negotiating Committee, comprised of attorneys from the law firms of Robins Kaplan LLP and Pendley, Baudin & Coffin, LLP. Negotiations were overseen by the Honorable Judge Robert Kugler and the Honorable Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Camden Division.
This settlement was reached on behalf of approximately 2,500 individuals who had filed claims after suffering serious gastrointestinal disorders while taking one of four medications containing Olmesartan Medoxomil as the active ingredient. These medications, all manufactured by Japanese pharmaceutical company, Daiichi Sankyo, are:
- Benicar HCT
While this is a significant win for these victims of Olmesartan medications, there are still several claims that have yet to be filed in any jurisdiction. If you have taken Benicar or another drug containing Olmesartan Medoxomil and suffered serious injury as a result, visit the Olmesartan Products Resolution Program Website to learn if you are eligible for compensation. The Opt-in Deadline for eligible enrollees is September 15, 2017.
About Olmesartan Medoxomil
Olmesartan Medoxomil is an ARB (angiotensin II receptor blocker) used in the treatment of hypertension and certain heart diseases. Angiotensin is a peptide hormone that works to constrict blood vessels and stimulate the release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. Aldosterone is steroid hormone that is essential for sodium conversion in various glands throughout the body.
Angiotensin I is converted into angiotensin II through enzyme residues in the lungs, kidney and brain, as well as through epithelial cells and endothelial cells. In addition to increasing the release of aldosterone, angiotensin II stimulates protein in vascular smooth muscle cells, increasing blood flow, volume and pressure to act as the Na/H+ exchanger in the proximal tubules of the kidney.
Angiotensin I does not seem to have any biological function outside of converting to angiotensin II.
Olmesartan Medoxomil works to block angiotensin II from constricting blood vessels. Similar to other ARBs, Olmesartan Medoxomil allows blood vessels to widen, assisting blood to flow more easily while reducing blood pressure. Unlike other ARBs however, Olmesartan Medoxomil may also cause serious gastrointestinal disorders. The FDA reports that no other ARBs have been linked to these types of problems.
Olmesartan Medoxomil is a dangerous medication that can lead to serious and long-lasting health problems. If you have experienced gastrointestinal distress after taking Benicar, Benicar HTC, Azor, or Tribenzor, you may be entitled to compensation through this latest settlement. Call our Los Angeles County dangerous medication attorneys at 310-536-1000 to learn more about your legal options.
Side Effects of Olmesartan Medoxomil
Side effects linked to Benicar and similar medications include:
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Headache, back pain, and joint and muscle pain
- Sinus infections and flu-like symptoms
- Breathing difficulties and bronchitis
- Skin rash
Olmesartan Medoxomil may also result in renal failure and the breaking down of muscle tissue.
Most of the lawsuits filed against Daiichi Sankyo involve gastrointestinal problems. Benicar, Azor, and Tribenzor are all linked to stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea, though these less extreme stomach problems may dissipate once the medications have been ceased. What is most worrisome about Olmesartan Medoxomil is its unique ability to cause sprue-like enteropathy, a condition that has, to this point, only been associated with Celiac Disease.
Sprue-like enteropathy is a disease of the small intestine that is characterized by the atrophy of the villi – small hairs that assist in the absorption of nutrients – and inflammation of the small bowel mucosa. When the villi of the small intestine have degenerated, malabsorption occurs. This, in turn, can result in serious issues such as:
- Severe and chronic diarrhea
- Significant and rapid weight loss
- Debilitating abdominal pain and bloating
- Persistent vomiting and nausea
- Extreme weakness and fatigue
Sprue-like enteropathy may also increase risks for anemia or exacerbate existing anemic conditions.
The symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy can occur months or even years after drugs containing Olmesartan Medoxomil have been prescribed. This condition may even occur in patients who have stopped taking Benicar and similar medications.
Under the best of circumstances, sprue-like enteropathy is a painful, life-altering, and inconvenient condition. At its worst, it can result in hospitalization, an inability to work, and extreme physical suffering. While sprue-like enteropathy is not deadly on its own, untreated instances of Celica Disease have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, epilepsy, and diabetes. Patients who have developed medication-induced sprue-like enteropathy will be at risk for these complications for the rest of their lives.
Why Take Legal Action?
When you are injured by a defective or dangerous medication, the long-term consequences can be severe. In the case of Olmesartan Medoxomil, these consequences include chronic pain, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, and weight loss in addition to increased risks for several deadly diseases and disorders. Tragically, many other medications that are commonly prescribed do not fare much better when it comes to safety.
Patients whose lives are forever altered for the worse or who are placed at increased risk for fatal complications have a right to hold the manufacturers of dangerous medications accountable for any injuries that occur. These damages can help pay for medical expenses, home modifications, lifestyle adaptations, and lost wages that may accompany injury from a dangerous medication. However, without legal assistance, it is unlikely that a fair settlement will be reached.
The product liability lawyers at our Redondo Beach office have decades of combined experience helping victims of negligent corporations get justice. We have the resources, tenacity, and experience necessary to win these complex cases – and are prepared to take your claim as far as needed to help you secure the full compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured by a dangerous medication, please call Kirtland & Packard, LLP at 310-536-1000 to schedule a free consultation today.