Almost 2,500 lawsuits alleging links between heartburn medication Zantac (Ranitidine) and cancer were dismissed by the court in US district of Florida.
According to the judge, almost 2,500 lawsuits filed by plaintiffs in the federal court were based on flawed science and the only reliable testing of the blockbuster drug showed an ‘unprovable risk of cancer’.
The US district court’s decision to slap down the cancer litigations over Zantac (Ranitidine), assured that science prevails over propaganda.
Ranitidine which came into existence over four decades ago has been on the WHO list of essential medicines for several years now. There is enough real-world evidence data on the product’s efficacy and safety. The medicine has since long been consumed by patients all over the world.
Speaking on the latest dismissal of lawsuits by the US Federal Court alleging links between Ranitidine and cancer and the safe use of Ranitidine, and its efficacy, Dr J. R. Mahapatra Gastroenterologist, Peerless Hospital & B. K. Roy Research Centre, Kolkata, said, “The latest dismissal of lawsuits alleging links between heartburn medication Zantac (Ranitidine) and cancer is based on science. Ranitidine for decades has been found to be quite efficacious to decrease stomach acid production and safe too. I have been prescribing the medicine to patients since 1990.”
In India, when the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) dropped 26 medicines from the list including Zantac (Ranitidine), the government officials clarified that there were no side effects, but other parameters like the availability of better drugs and cost-effectiveness were the reasons behind the drugs being taken down from the NLEM list.
Dr Y K Gupta, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Standing National Committee on Medicines & Health Care Products while denying the cancer concerns associated with Zantac, said: “There were some concerns raised by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) which are still not established about the possibility of NDMA in Ranitidine. One must be clear about it, this is yet not very established and therefore there is no cause for concern or panic at all.”
The court ruling comes as a big win for pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Sanofi, GSK and Boehringer Ingelheim. The ruling which will remove a large portion of the potential liability linked to the Zantac litigation might help restore generic medicines in the market.