By mid-October 2015, more than 1,077 lawsuits regarding Benicar, a blood
pressure drug, have been filed. These cases were filed within a 2015 Benicar
MDL in New Jersey after professionals found Benicar caused severe gastrointestinal
symptoms among consumers. Tribenzor, Azor, Benicar HCT and Benicar are
all included in the litigation since all four drugs are manufactured by
Daiichi Sankyo. Benicar received FDA approval in 2002. The other three
drugs gained FDA approval later. The active ingredient in all four drugs
is Olmesartan, which users have alleged caused severe side effects such
as excessive weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, vomiting, nausea
The symptoms are associated with sprue-like enteropathy, a disease of the
small intestine. In effect, when a patient experiences sprue-like enteropathy,
the small intestines are unable to absorb nutrients from food eaten by
the patient. Patients may also develop a condition known as villous atrophy,
which causes the lining of the intestines to lose texture, also making
it difficult to absorb nutrients. These serious symptoms can be life-threatening
if the medication is not discontinued.
Mayo Study Concluded Patients Could Experience Serious Benicar Side Effects
Some consumers experienced symptoms as soon as 90 days after beginning
Olmesartan. One Mayo Clinic article reported a study of 22 patients, fourteen
of whom experienced serious diarrhea and weight loss, ending up in the
hospital after taking Benicar. Many patients who have taken Benicar over
the years have been misdiagnosed with celiac disease or some other intestinal
ailment. The FDA issued a safety announcement two years ago regarding
the potentially harmful effects of Benicar. At that time, the FDA mandated
that Benicar’s warning labels would be changed to include adequate
warnings for consumers and medical providers.
Daiichi Sankyo Charged with Violations of the False Claims Act
The Department of Justice recently reached a $39 million settlement with
Daiichi Sankyo in order to settle charges of Medicare Fraud and violations
of the False Claims Act. The company was charged with offering kickbacks
to physicians who prescribed Benicar as well as other similar medications.
In this particular case, drug reps were taking physicians out for expensive
meals, and paying them for speaking engagements, in an effort to persuade
them to administer specific drugs. The current lawsuits against Daiichi
Sankyo claim the drug manufacturer either knew or should have known the
risks associated with Benicar and the other three similar drugs, yet withheld
that information from the medical community and consumers.
Did Daiichi Sankyo Conduct Adequate Research for Benicar?
The way the manufacturer could have protected the public was through thorough
research and testing prior to selling Benicar to the public. Unfortunately,
clinical trials for Benicar were conducted only for a three-month period.
Considering a diagnosis of high blood pressure is generally considered
a lifelong condition, it hardly seems a long enough trial to determine
true side effects. Another important fact for the consumer to know when
considering this drug is that other drugs in its class do not cause these
severe gastrointestinal problems.
Contact Our National Dangerous Drug Lawyers
If you are one of the many patients who suffered injury as a result of
taking Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor, you could be eligible
for compensation. It could be advantageous for you to speak to a knowledgeable
dangerous drug injury attorney to explore your options and ensure your
rights are protected.
To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation,
call the Philadelphia dangerous drug attorneys at Golomb & Honik, P.C. today at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177
or fill out our confidential
The national dangerous drug attorneys at Golomb & Honik, P.C. have
successfully represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, and throughout the United States.