Valsartan belongs to a class of drugs is known as angiotensin receptor blockers and it works by relaxing blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily.
- Pain in the abdomen
- Low blood pressure
Everything You Must Know About Valsartan
Valsartan Lawsuit Brief
Lawyers for consumers who claim harm from tainted versions of the blood pressure-lowering drug valsartan want to expand litigation to include at least two other drugs, losartan and irbesartan.
Dozens of consumers have already filed personal-injury lawsuits around the country claiming they were diagnosed with cancer or sustained other injuries after taking valsartan contaminated with probable carcinogens.
A federal court panel this year consolidated the valsartan lawsuits, which were filed against China-based drug ingredient manufacturer, Zhejiang Huahai, and more than three dozen other distributors, wholesalers, repackagers and pharmacies.
Lawyers representing consumers and employers that paid for the drugs argue losartan and irbesartan should be part of the combined federal lawsuit.
But the drug companies have said in court papers the effort to combine the other sartan medications, which are part of a class of several drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers, would be “wholly inappropriate.”
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A federal judge is expected to hear arguments from both sides as soon as Dec. 5.
Drug companies recalled hundreds of lots of the commonly-prescribed blood pressure and heart medications valsartan, losartan and irbesartan — alone or combined with other drugs — after testing revealed the drugs contained NDMA, or nitrosodimethylamine, a probable carcinogen. Follow-up testing showed some batches of valsartan had another probable carcinogen, nitrosodiethylamine, or NDEA. A third impurity, NMBA, also was discovered.
If a federal judge agrees to add losartan and irbesartan to the consolidated lawsuit, the effort could significantly expand the litigation against drug makers, distributors and sellers.
“It’s a far broader and more widespread problem than even we understood at the outset,” said Paul Geske, whose Chicago-area law firm, McGuire Law, sought to consolidate the separate lawsuits. “When you have a situation with numerous cases dispersed throughout the country, this is the only way to efficiently bring them all to one court.”
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