Valsartan Lawsuit Attorneys Representing People With Cancers
Toxic Chemical Found In Tainted Valsartan Batches
The Valsartan lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to holding the corporations responsible for the manufacture of defective lots accountable. If you or a family member developed cancer involving the colon, stomach, bladder, or kidney, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Generic Valsartan (brand name Diovan) is a popular medication prescribed by doctors to treat congestive heart failure and hypertension. The drug is classified as an ARB (angiotensin II receptor blocker). It is used to increase a patient's longevity after suffering a heart attack because it is known to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.
The medication also helps lower blood pressure, prevent stroke, and prevent kidney malfunction in diabetes patients. Millions of Americans have taken the blood pressure medication Valsartan for these conditions.
However, in July 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled some Valsartan products after it was discovered the drug had been contaminated by a chemical linked to cancer during the manufacturing process. The federal agency said that traces of the carcinogenic compound N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
For decades, NDMA had been used in rocket fuel, among other things, before being used in dangerous drugs, including Diovan (valsartan). This recall is the subject of a "mass tort" litigation currently working its way through in federal court as MDL (multi-district litigation).
Exposure to elevated levels of NDMA can seriously damage the liver and is believed to increase the risk of developing cancer of the liver, gastrointestinal tract, stomach, kidneys, and colon even in relatively small amounts.
The organic chemical is known to cause cancer in research animals and is considered by the medical community to be a "probable" human cancer-causing agent.
Other potential cancers that might be caused by Valsartan (Diovan) include intestinal cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and leukemia.
Valsartan Lawsuit: Attorneys Prosecuting Cancers (Stomach, Colon, Liver & Kidney) Associated With NDMA Contamination
There are legal grounds to file a valsartan lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company. The basis of a legal argument might include the pharmaceutical company's manufacturing defect of the tablet or pill, improper Black box labeling of the drug to identify life-threatening side effects, and a failure to warn the consumer about the potential dangers of severe harm or death.
Let us determine if you or a loved one qualify for a Valsartan lawsuit. As a plaintiff in a lawsuit, you will not be required to prove that the pharmaceutical company intended to cause you harm. Your attorney will only need to show that the pharmaceutical company acted negligently when designing, manufacturing, distributing, or marketing the product.
Your attorney will likely hold the drug manufacturer accountable under strict liability laws and prove that there were manufacturing defects that the pharmaceutical company knew or did not know. They failed to provide adequate warning labels.
Showing that the manufacturer your illness caused a significant mistake is the first step to associating the drug maker's negligence and their responsibility for compensating you for your damages.
If you have been taking Valsartan (Diovan), you are probably understandably alarmed and confused. In this article, we will try to address some of your concerns:
Contact Our Attorneys to Discuss Your Legal Claims Against the Manufacturers of Valsartan
If you consumed the Valsartan drug between 2015 and 2019, you should speak to your doctor right away. If you have taken the medication and developed cancer, you should consider taking immediate legal action against the drug makers who manufactured, marketed, and sold the defective drug.
However, time is of the essence because there are statutes of limitations you must follow to file a personal injury claim at both the federal and state levels.
The product liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are monitoring potential Valsartan lawsuits across the United States. Our office is centrally located in Chicago, Illinois, and we are here to provide you with the latest information on recalls and pending litigation involving monetary damages.
We invite you to discuss your experience and your legal options with us at no cost or obligation. If you meet the following criteria, our Valsartan recall attorneys would like to review your case with you:
- You used Valsartan between 2015 and the present
- You have been diagnosed with cancer of the liver, colon, or stomach, pancreas OR you experienced liver damage which required hospitalization
- You used Valsartan for at least one year before your cancer diagnosis
If you or a loved one meets all of the above criteria, we urge you to contact our office today for a free case consultation.
Valsartan Cancer Litigation FAQ's
If you have been prescribed Valsartan and experience minimal or severe side effects, you are likely alarmed by the recall. Our legal team provides answers below to many of the questions posed by concerned patients just like you, including:
What are the Side Effects of Valsartan?
Many patients who have been prescribed valsartan and used the medication for weeks or months know that significant side effects are ranging from mild headaches to low blood pressure. The Food and Drug Administration included a Black box warning with each prescription warning patients of associated fetal toxicity when taking the drug.
The most common side effects experienced by patients tend to be brief and mild. They include:
- Low blood pressure
- High blood potassium (hyperkalemia)
- Weight gain
- Possible hair loss
- Allergic reaction
- Reduced renal function (kidneys)
- Fetal toxicity
- Acute liver injury
Liver damage is a significant problem when taking valsartan, though reports are rare. During clinical trials, some participants who were given Diovan, the generic form of valsartan, displayed elevated liver chemistries on occasion.
These individuals were dropped from the study and stopped taking the medication due precisely to their elevated liver chemistries to ensure their safety.
What is NDMA?
NDMA is an organic compound classified as a waste product of industrial processes, including the making of lubricants and pesticides. It is part of the N-nitrosamine family of potent carcinogens.
The yellowish liquid is often present at supposedly safe micro levels in some food products—particularly cured meats—and water supplies, even beer. The toxic chemical is known to damage the liver and other organs in humans and cause cancer in laboratory rats.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that NDMA is a "probable human carcinogen" that can increase a person's risk of developing cancer. Most of what is currently known about NDMA's carcinogenic qualities come from animal-based studies.
However, the World Health Organization reported that several case-control studies and one cohort study of dietary intake of NDMA by humans showed results "supportive of the assumption that NDMA consumption is positively associated with either gastric cancer or colorectal cancer."
What are the Dangers of Valsartan?
According to the FDA, the presence of NDMA in Valsartan was "unexpected" and related to "changes in the way the active substance was manufactured." Since about 2012, when generic drugs by pharmaceutical companies became available, the China-based Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. had manufactured most of the wholesale Valsartan sold to drug companies worldwide. The Pharmaceutical company generated $50 million from the drug in 2017.
In 2018, Zhejiang notified regulators that NDMA residue had been discovered in many of its products, including batches of Valsartan. What's more, lots of Valsartan-contaminated tablets containing NDMA were found in products made by several other wholesale pharmaceutical manufacturers located in China and India.
In July 2018, the FDA issued a safety warning to alert patients, healthcare professionals, and the public of a voluntary recall of Valsartan because of the chemical's probable carcinogenic effects. Only Valsartan sold exclusively by U.S. companies was affected, and the FDA asked those companies to take immediate action to protect patients.
Companies found to have contaminated valsartan Solco Healthcare, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Major Pharmaceuticals. Later, however, other companies would be added to the list.
Before the FDA pulled the dangerous products with severe side effects from the marketplace, twenty-two other countries had already recalled Valsartan products, including Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.
The FDA discovered NDMA carcinogen in some of the recalled products: N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDMA), which is used by cancer researchers to induce liver tumors in laboratory animals.
Which Blood Pressure Medicine is Linked to Cancer?
The U.S. company Torrent Pharmaceuticals produced Valsartan that was contaminated by toxic chemicals. Torrent and several other pharma companies later issued a voluntary recall of some of their Losartan potassium products.
The product was pulled due to "unacceptable" levels of NDMA as an active ingredient manufactured by Hetero Labs Ltd. Losartan is a generic drug similar to Valsartan, which is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
What Kind of Cancer can Valsartan Cause?
In 2018, a published Danish paper revealed the risk of developing cancer after being exposed to NDMA found in contaminated batches of Valsartan medications. A study had been done involving over 5100 Danish patients without any historical familiar or individual cases of cancer. The study lasted nearly 5.5 years.
The results of the study did not show an increased overall risk of developing cancer in the short-term when exposed to NDMA-contaminated Valsartan. However, there was uncertainty "about single cancer outcomes, and studies with longer follow-up are needed to assess long-term cancer risk."
Cancers of the Digestive System
More than any other organ, it seems NDMA wreaks the most havoc on the liver. It has been known to cause severe and non-cancerous liver conditions in humans and is used by cancer researchers to induce liver cancer tumors in rodents.
Liver cancer generally has a poor prognosis because the liver is a vital organ essential to bodily function. Most cancers of the liver are the secondary cause, meaning that cancer originated in another organ or bodily system and spread or metastasized to the liver.
Alternatively, primary liver cancer originates in the organ and accounts for only two percent of cancers in the U.S. Its causes include hepatitis, alcohol abuse, smoking, and possibly obesity. Primary liver cancer strikes twice as many men as women, at an average age of sixty-seven.
A few benign and cancerous tumors can develop in the liver. Because of that, the symptoms of cancerous and non-cancerous could be similar. Symptoms of liver cancer include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Upper abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Jaundice of the skin or eyes
- White, chalky stools
Liver cancer is generally treated through surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy.
Cancer of the stomach (adenocarcinoma) is generally more treatable than liver cancer, with a higher survival rate, especially when caught at an early stage. GERD and Acid Reflux are often precursors of liver cancer.
Researchers also believe there is a correlation between stomach cancer and obesity, smoking, and unhealthy diet. Some symptoms of stomach cancer can be like liver cancer, and include:
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
- Persistent heartburn
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss
Treatments for stomach cancer depend on how the diseased has progressed and might include surgery (including removal of the stomach), radiation, and chemotherapy.
Colon (large intestine) cancer is among the most common types of cancer in the U.S. It is treatable and even curable if diagnosed early. This form of cancer is most common among older adults but can strike anyone at any age.
Most colorectal cancer starts as polyps, or growths, on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. If precancerous polyps are not removed, they can degrade into cancer.
Colorectal cancer risk factors include a diet high in fat or red meat, family history, and being over age fifty. Doctors advise men and women over fifty years of age to undergo screening colonoscopies every five years to find polyps and have them removed.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Unexplained weight loss
- Rectal bleeding or blood in stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort
Treatment for colorectal cancer is relatively similar to stomach cancer and includes removal of cancerous tumors and, if necessary, parts of the colon (colostomy) or rectum, and chemotherapy.
Is all Valsartan Affected by a Recall?
The FDA recommends that patients contact their health care providers to determine if the medication they are currently taking has been recalled. However, it is imperative not to discontinue taking it until their doctor has prescribed a replacement, because the drug may be treating a severe medical condition that could worsen if stopped.
The government administration releases and updates the list of recalled drugs (see below) that contain NDMA. To determine if your medication was recalled, find the manufacturer's name on your prescription bottle. If you can't locate it, contact your pharmacist, who can assist you in identifying the drug manufacturer.
If your Valsartan medication has been recalled, contact your doctor and discuss alternative treatment options. Your physician might prescribe another drug or a brand of Valsartan or Losartan that is not part of the recall.
July 2018 Valsartan Voluntarily Recall
Drug Company Recalled Medicine Major Pharmaceuticals
- Valsartan 80 mg and 160 mg tablets
- Solco Healthcare LLC Valsartan 40 mg, 80 mg, 160 mg, 320 mg
- Actavis - Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Valsartan 40 mg, 80 mg, 160 mg, 320 mg
- A-S Medication Solutions LLC Valsartan 80 mg, 160 mg
- Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc. Valsartan 80 mg, 320 mg
- H J Harkins Co. Valsartan 160 mg
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals Valsartan 80 mg, 160 mg, 320 mg
- Quality Care Products LLC (Lake Erie Medical) Valsartan all doses NuCare Pharmaceuticals Valsartan all doses Proficient Rx Valsartan all doses Actavis - Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
- Valsartan w/ hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) 80 mg/12.5 mg, 160 mg/12.5 mg, 160 mg/25 mg, 320 mg/12.5 mg, 320 mg/25 mg
- AvKARE Valsartan w/ hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) 80 mg/12.5 mg, 160 mg/12.5 mg, 160 mg/25 mg, 320 mg/12.5 mg, 320 mg/25 mg
- A-S Medication Solutions LLC Valsartan 80 mg, 160 mg & Valsartan w/ hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) 160 mg/12.5 mg, 320 mg/25 mg
What is the Status of Valsartan Litigation?
Since the recall, thousands of plaintiffs around the country have filed Valsartan lawsuits against the drug makers mentioned earlier (including China's Zhejiang Huahai) and drug store retailers, including Walgreens and Wal-Mart. The lawsuits allege negligence, strict liability, fraud, and breach of express and implied warranty of merchantability, among other causes of action.
The class action litigation has been consolidated in New Jersey federal court in what is known as Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). The defendants are being sued by plaintiffs who took the recalled Valsartan, who claim it put them at risk for cancer.
The plaintiffs claim in one argument that the drug companies should have been aware of safety problems involving Zhejiang that predate the recall. The litigation is still in its early stages, and there have been no settlements or verdicts related to Valsartan cancer injuries announced yet.
We will update this webpage as litigation progresses. Check back for ongoing Valsartan lawsuit updates.
Contact an Attorney if You Have Developed Cancer After Taking Valsartan or Losartan
Were you or a loved one prescribed a recalled Valsartan or Losartan medication made by Solco Healthcare, Major Pharmaceuticals, or Teva Pharmaceuticals and developed health problems associated with the liver, kidneys, colon, or stomach? If so, contact the experienced defective drug injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today at (888) 424-5757.
The medication you are taking now could cause serious medical complications in the months or years ahead. Schedule a no-obligation, free consultation to discuss whether you have a valid compensation claim.
Our law firm accepts legal claims for Valsartan cases involving stomach cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and colon-rectal, and pancreatic cancer on a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement ensures that a legal fee is charged only after we have successfully resolved your case. If we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing.
Let us get to work for you now. We can provide numerous legal options during your free case evaluation.
Attorney Jonathan Rosenfeld prepared the material on this page. It was updated in November 2020. Similar to Valsartan and Losartan contamination lawsuits, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is currently reviewing Zantac cancer lawsuits.