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Wed Apr 24, 2019, 08:28 PM

Popular Heart Drugs Tainted With Carcinogens Face a Wave of Lawsuits

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against drug makers and sellers over widely prescribed generic heart medications tainted with potential carcinogens, the first claims in what some lawyers expect to be a wave of litigation.

Millions of Americans have taken the drugs, which are at the center of a widening recall being overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and have been for decades used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure and other common conditions.

A lawyer involved in an effort to combine about 50 lawsuits, including at least 27 by patients who say they contracted cancer by using the recalled medicine, told a U.S. federal court he expects a surge of legal action.

“My best estimate sitting here today is I expect that we will have approximately 2,000 personal-injury cases on file in the next two years,” Daniel Nigh, who has filed 12 such lawsuits so far, told judges at a conference in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey last month, according to a transcript.

The FDA has been coordinating a recall of adulterated heart medications since last July, when the carcinogen NDMA was discovered in valsartan manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. The contaminated valsartan was sold to a number of major drugmakers and used as an ingredient in other popular cardiovascular therapies.


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