Valsartan is a popular medication prescribed to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions. It is the generic version of Diovan, which is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB).
In addition to reducing the risk of congestive heart failure and lowering blood pressure, Valsartan can also reduce the risk of strokes and prevent kidney malfunction in people with diabetes. Once introduced to the market, Valsartan became very popular.
Doctors prescribed the drug because it appeared to have fewer side effects than other medications for the same conditions, even though Valsartan was not as effective as other medications for high blood pressure.
Unfortunately, numerous shipments of Valsartan were contaminated with a substance suspected of increasing the risk of cancer. Thousands of Valsartan lawsuits have been filed by individuals claiming damages and injuries caused by the medication. The lawsuits name the pharmaceutical manufacturer, drug stores, and other parties.
Am I Eligible To File a Valsartan Lawsuit?
Most of the Valsartan lawsuits have been combined into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) case administered by the United States District Court for New Jersey (Valsartan MDL 2875). An MDL is not the same as a class action lawsuit. Instead, the cases are combined for discovery and pre-trial motions. Because the cases involve the same parties and allegations, it is more efficient for all parties to combine the cases for discovery and pre-trial motions that impact all cases.
The Valsartan cases are tried separately and decided by different juries. Therefore, the plaintiffs in each Valsartan lawsuit have the burden of proving their case to a jury that has not heard any of the other cases. Because the lawsuits remain independent, the parties can settle the lawsuit or proceed to trial.
The lawsuits allege various causes of action, including negligence, failure to warn, strict liability, breach of warranty, and fraud. You might have a claim if you took Valsartan between 2015 and 2019 and developed cancer or other conditions. The best way to know if you are eligible to file a Valsartan lawsuit is to talk with a Denver Valsartan lawsuit attorney.
Contamination of Valsartan With NDMA
In the Summer of 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became aware that certain lots of Valsartan contained NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine) and NDEA (N-Nitrosodiethylamine).
The contamination occurred during the manufacturing process. NDMA and NDEA are possible human carcinogens, which means a person has a higher risk of developing certain cancers if exposed to these substances. Beginning in July 2018, the contaminated lots of Valsartan were recalled because the levels of NDMA and NDEA did not meet FDA standards. Exposure to NDMA at elevated levels can cause liver damage. It can also increase the risk of developing:
- Liver cancer
- Colon cancer
- Gastrointestinal tract cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Intestinal cancer
Some studies indicate that exposure to elevated levels of NDMA could also increase the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. The Valsartan recall only applied to the specific lots of the drug known to be contaminated with NDMA and NDEA.
Examples of Damages a Person Might Receive for a Valsartan Lawsuit
Each person’s case is unique. Therefore, the damages they receive are based on the facts of their case. However, most product liability and negligence claims compensate the injured parties for financial losses, pain, and suffering. Examples of economic and non-economic damages for a Valsartan lawsuit include:
- Past and future medical bills and expenses
- Decreased quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of income and wages
- Impairments and disabilities
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Long-term personal and/or nursing care
Additionally, juries might award punitive damages in some lawsuits. Punitive damages are paid to the plaintiff, even though the damages are awarded to punish the defendants for their negligent and wrongful behavior. In some situations, a person might die because of the harm caused by defective Valsartan. Their family members may have a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties.
What Should I Do if I Took or Take Valsartan and Am Worried?
Talk with your doctor as soon as possible, especially if you took Valsartan between 2015 and 2019. Your doctor can run tests to determine if you have developed cancer or other conditions.
Stopping medication before consulting with your doctor could be life-threatening. You can contact a Denver dangerous drug lawyer to discuss your legal options if you took Valsartan and developed cancer. However, filing deadlines are quickly approaching. Do not delay seeking legal advice if you or a loved one took Valsartan and developed cancer.
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