Pharma stocks Zantac recess as investors are bracing for many heartburn drug litigation costs
August 15, 2022: -In this week, GlaxoSmithKline shares, Sanofi, and Haleon sold off, which sheds tens of billions in market value between investor fear regarding potential U.S. litigation costs concentrated on famous heartburn drug Zantac.
This has been a known problem that bubbles in the background for years, but the investor situation is exploding this week in the lead-up to the first scheduled legal proceeding on August 22.
Zantac is the name of the brand for ranitidine, a medicine used to relieve heartburn. It was initially invented and sold by Glaxo as a prescription drug in the 1980s before transitioning to counter medication.
In 2019, regulators established a safety review between concerns that the drug contains a probable carcinogen known as NDMA, which encourages manufacturers to take it out from shelves. And by 2020, the U.S. FDA and the European Medicines Agency would enjoy all versions of the treatment to be withdrawn from the market.
Since then, around 2,000 cases have been filed in the U.S., with plaintiffs contending that drinking Zantac can generate NDMA.
The first trial begins on August 22, with crucial bellwether trials to begin in early 2023. The litigation is quite confused because numerous pharma players have been involved with the drug.
The patent for the drug is expiring in 1997, so there are multiple manufacturers, retailers, and distributors of the medicine known as defendants in the lawsuits.
There have been many owners of the OTC rights in the U.S. since 1998, which include GSK, Sanofi, Pfizer, and Boehringer Ingelheim.
Haleon, the consumer health business spun off from GlaxoSmithKline in the previous month, is not liable for the claims, according to the company, but may be linked.
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