Pharmaceutical claims news: Benicar lawsuits allege the blood pressure medication is connected to serious health conditions, and that clinical trials were not of sufficient duration to reveal the negative side-effects of typically longer-term exposure.
With a motion for consolidation of Benicar lawsuits before the courts and new Benicar side effects lawsuits being filed, 2015 could be an important year in Benicar litigation. Lawsuits filed against the company that makes Benicar allege the blood pressure medication is linked to a severe gastrointestinal condition.Late in 2014, a motion to consolidate lawsuits was filed with the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. That motion requested that the 15 federal cases and 30 state cases in New Jersey be consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the Northern District of Ohio. According to the motion, of the 15 federal cases, nine are already pending in Ohio. Lawsuits filed in 2014 allege Benicar was defective and unreasonably dangerous for patients to take, resulting in serious health problems. One such lawsuit(Dirksen v. Daiichi Sankyo) filed against Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., and Forest Laboratories, notes that in 2013, the FDA released a Drug Safety Communication, warning about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy potentially linked to Benicar use. Symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea and substantial weight loss. The FDA noted at the time that the enteropathy may not appear until months or even years after patients began taking Benicar. Further, the FDA noted that some patients may require hospitalization. When the FDA released its Drug Safety Communication, it noted that it had identified 23 serious reports of health problems linked to the use of Benicar. Among the allegations made in the Dirksen lawsuit were that Benicar (known generically as olmesartan) is frequently prescribed for six months to a year or more, but that clinical trials for the drug only lasted up to three months. “Clinical trials over periods greater than three months would reveal the effects of longer term cumulative exposure to olmesartan,” the lawsuit alleges. Deborah Dirksen alleges that as a result of taking Benicar, she developed gastrointestinal problems requiring multiple visits to the ER, treatment in the hospital for renal failure and continued medical monitoring. The lawsuit also alleges that peer-reviewed studies suggested a connection between the use of olmesartan and the development of sprue-like enteropathy. The motion for consolidation notes that more Benicar lawsuits will likely be filed. The lawsuit is In Re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation. The Dirksen lawsuit is Deborah Dirksen and Richard A. Dirksen vs. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., et al, case number 3:14-cv-03318-CSB-DGB in the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Originally posted by Heidi Turner on lawyersandsettlements.com. Ball & Bonholtzer – Pharmaceutical Claims Lawyers Photo credit: www.drugs.com