The number of
Benicar lawsuits continues to increase, with more than 1,250 as of April, 2016. Allergan
plc (who acquired Forest Laboratories in July 2014), and the manufacturer
of Benicar, Daiichi Sankyo, are currently defending the lawsuits which
have increased significantly since early 2015, when there were only about
70 cases. Daiichi Sankyo is a Japanese pharmaceutical company, which maintains
its headquarters in the state of New Jersey. From 2002 to 2008, Daiichi
Sankyo spent over a billion dollars promoting Benicar, claiming the drug
was vastly superior to other blood pressure drugs in its class both in
safety and effectiveness. The lawyers at Golomb & Honik represent
more than 150 victims of severe gastrointestinal issues caused by Benicar
and serve in leadership positions in the New Jersey multi-district litigation.
Extreme Weight Loss Tied to Benicar
The first group of bellwether trials for Benicar are projected to start
by fall 2016. Bellwether trials give both sides an opportunity to see
how a jury will receive the evidence, and can often trigger a settlement.
Benicar is a drug used in the treatment of hypertension, which has been
linked to several deaths as well as serious gastrointestinal injuries
including sprue-like enteropathy, an issue which affects the gastrointestinal
tract. Those who develop the sprue-like enteropathy suffer such symptoms
as malnutrition, intestinal damage, extreme weight loss and chronic diarrhea.
Some of those who have taken Benicar have lost more than 100 pounds, and
have developed major complications as a result.
FDA Warns Consumers About Benicar But Does Not Call for a Recall of the Drug
The FDA issued a Benicar warning in 2013, regarding Benicar’s potential
to trigger serious chronic diarrhea and significant levels of weight loss.
Despite Daiichi Sankyo’s claim that Benicar was safe and effective,
several studies—as well as the FDA—have concluded that no
other drugs besides Benicar in the angiotensin receptor blocker class
have been found to cause such severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Sprue-like
enteropathy causes the lining of the intestines to lose its texture, making
it extremely difficult to absorb nutrients. This condition is known as
villous atrophy. In many cases, those who were injured by Benicar went
from doctor to doctor seeking a diagnosis. Many doctors, unfamiliar with
the potential side effects of Benicar, wrongly diagnose the symptoms as
Celiac disease, which is an allergy to gluten.
The First Benicar Lawsuit
In the first Benicar lawsuit the plaintiff, according to his complaint,
was hospitalized for more than 100 days because of Benicar, developing
cataracts and a compression fracture in his back. He must now use a feeding
tube for the remainder of his life. That initial complaint alleges Daiichi
Sankyo placed consumers at risk by failing to warn the public of a defective,
dangerous drug. Other plaintiffs have alleged that Daiichi and Forest knew of the dangers
associated with Benicar, and deliberately withheld that information in
order to maximize profits. Daiichi Sankyo settled a case filed by the
U.S. Department of Justice for $39 million in April 2015. The lawsuit
claimed the manufacturer of Benicar provided illegal kickbacks to physicians
who prescribed Benicar.
Benicar Issues May Take Months or Years to Emerge
It appears that the serious gastrointestinal issues potentially associated
with Benicar can take months or years to emerge, and by that time it may
be too late to mitigate the potential damage. For the elderly in particular,
the severe diarrhea from Benicar can be especially serious. Dehydration
and gastrointestinal issues can lead to such severe malnutrition and weight
loss, that seniors can quickly end up in the hospital, with a dire prognosis.
Some studies have shown that the longer Benicar is used, the higher the
risk for long-term or permanent gastrointestinal damage.
Mayo Clinic Finds Link Between Benicar and Sprue-Like Enteropathy
One study done by the Mayo Clinic in 2012 found a link between the active
ingredient in Benicar, olmesartan, and sprue-like enteropathy. The FDA
found clear evidence of an association between olmesartan and sprue-like
enteropathy when they looked at their Adverse Event Reporting System database.
If you or a loved one have suffered harm after taking Benicar, it could
be extremely beneficial to speak to an experienced dangerous drug attorney
who will ensure your rights are protected while fighting for a fair settlement
on your behalf.
National Dangerous Drug Lawyers
If you have been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy or GI complications
like weight loss or chronic diarrhea 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 dangerous drug lawyers at Golomb & Honik today at
1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177, or fill out our confidential