2015 did not start very well for pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo.
In January 2015, the company agreed to pay the United States and state
Medicaid programs $39 million after allegations surfaced that they paid
physicians kickbacks to prescribe drugs, such as Azor, Benicar, Tribenzor,
and Welchol. This is in direct violation of the False Claims Act and the
Anti-Kickback Statute. The Ant-Kickback Statute was enacted to ensure
that a doctor’s best medical judgment was not influenced by payments
or other gifts from pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.
The allegations were brought by the U.S. government and they stated that
Daiichi Sankyo paid physicians improper kickbacks as part of speaker fees
that ran from January 2005 through March 2011. “Schemes such as
this are particularly abhorrent. Manufacturers and physicians who engage
in them are cheating Medicare and Medicaid out of millions of dollars
and threatening programs upon which many elderly and disabled Americans
rely,” stated Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson.
This is not the first time Daiichi Sankyo has been in trouble with the
law. Because of the failure of the manufacturer to properly warn consumers
about the potential risks of Benicar, lawsuits are being pursued. Former
users of Benicar who suffered harm or injury from the drug are alleging
symptoms of chronic diarrhea resulting in hospitalization, symptoms of
sprue-like enteropathy, misdiagnosis of celiac disease, chronic malnutrition,
dehydration, and abdominal pain. Sprue-like enteropathy is a serious medical
condition that can have serious medical consequences for patients taking Benicar.
Allegations of designing a defective product, failure to warn, strict liability,
negligence, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, fraud and negligent
misrepresentation are being claimed by many of the plaintiffs. Further,
plaintiffs are claiming that the manufacturer of Benicar knew-or should
have known-about the abdominal issues associated with the drug, yet failed
to disclose those risks until the independent studies were released.
Other Issues Associated With Benicar
Benicar is manufactured by the Japanese drug company Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
in conjunction with Forest Laboratories. It is estimated that nearly two
million patients received a prescription for Benicar in 2012; Benicar
is currently the third-highest selling ARB blood pressure medication on
the market. Some of the other potential dangers of
Benicar include an irregular heartbeat, symptoms of arthritis, kidney disorders,
skin rashes, chest and abdominal pain, chronic vomiting and liver disorders.
Benicar currently contains only a black box warning for fetal toxicity,
and pregnant women are warned against taking the drug. Benicar has not
yet been recalled but the FDA did require the manufacturer to add a label
warning which states Benicar could be associated with serious gastrointestinal
National Dangerous Drug Lawyers
If you have been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy or GI complications
after using Benicar, your injuries may be the result of a drug manufacturer’s
negligence. To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free
consultation call the
Philadelphia class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik today at
1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential
The national dangerous drug lawyers at Golomb & Honik have successfully
represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
throughout the United States.