What Are Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)?

PPIs are drugs associated with a group of drugs that are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and various issues related to stomach acid. These drugs have become the number one selling drugs in America, and PPI drugs are available as prescribed medication and also as over-the-counter medications. They are an effective method of treatment for gastric acid diseases.

Proton pumps in the human body are responsible for creating hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This hydrochloric acid in the stomach is needed to digest foods. There is a muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, and in some instances, the muscle does not close properly. This results in stomach acid rising towards the throat, causing pain in the chest and esophagus areas. Proton pump inhibitor drugs help treat this issue by reducing the amount of hydrochloric acid produced by the proton pumps.

PPIs Linked to Kidney Damage

PPI Side Effects

  • Clostridium Difficile Infection
  • Bone Fractures
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Heart Attacks
  • Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Who is Liable?

  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Bayer and Salix
  • Eisai
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer

List of PPI Drugs

  • Omeprazole (Prilosec, Prilosec OTC)
  • Aspirin and Omeprazole (Yosprala)
  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid, Prevacid IV, Prevacid 24-Hour)
  • Dexlansoprazole (Dexilent and Dexilent Solutab)
  • Rabeprazole (Aciphex, Aciphex Sprinkle)
  • Pantoprazole (Protonix)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium, Nexium IV, Nexium 24 HR)
  • Esomeprazole Magnesium/Naproxen (Vimovo)
  • Omeprazole/Sodium Bicarbonate (Zegerid, Zegerid OTC)

PPI Lawsuit

Drug manufacturers of heartburn and acid reflux medications such as Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium are facing thousands of drug injury lawsuits for the severe side effects caused by the medications. The lawsuits claim the medications were not properly tested and pharmaceutical companies failed to adequately warn patients and doctors of the harmful risks.

Our team will be reviewing PPI lawsuit leads for the following claims:

  • The defendant manufactured a defective or dangerous drug
  • The defendant knowingly sold a defective or dangerous drug
  • The defendant failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about the risks of the drug
  • The defendant knowingly hid information about the harmful side effects of the drug
  • The defendant illegally marketed the drug

2010

Two separate studies found new concerns over the potential side effects of proton pump inhibitor use. The studies found that PPI drugs increase the risk of bone fractures, however the FDA determined that this risk only applies to patients taking high doses and over a long period of time. As a result, the FDA did not require additional warnings on PPI drug labels.

2011

More than 30 residents of Texas filed a Nexium lawsuit against AstraZeneca claiming that the drug caused bone fractures and the company failed to warn patients of the severe side effects.

2012

47 Nexium lawsuits were consolidated in a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the Central District of California that represented over 1,000 plaintiffs.

December 2012

Pfizer agreed to pay a $50 million settlement to resolve allegations that the company misbranded its PPI drug, Protonix.

2014

MDL ended in favor of AstraZeneca and officially closed on January 4, 2017. Later in 2014, the FDA approved a label change for Nexium and other proton pump inhibitor drugs that require stricter warning labels.

2015

A critical lawsuit was filed against Prilosec and Nexium regarding their warning label. The plaintiff claimed that the warning label on the packages of these PPI drugs does not make it clear to consumers all of the side effects associated with taking the medications. AstraZeneca was sued for illegal marketing of their product because they created a generic version of these drugs to avoid liability and settled for $20 million. The PPI lawsuit, which can be claimed against AstraZeneca, aims at their failure to adequately warn consumers and doctors about the potentially severe side effects.

February 2015

AstraZeneca agreed to pay $20 million to settle a class action PPI lawsuit regarding Nexium and Prilosec. The lawsuit claimed AstraZeneca used deceptive marketing to lead consumers into buying Nexium, which was the more expensive medication.

2016

Pfizer settled Protonix lawsuits for $784.6 million to resolve allegations that the company failed to give the same discounts to Medicaid that were given to hospitals. The discounts were for Protonix Oral and Protonix IV.

2016

A study published by JAMA’s Internal Medicine found that patients using PPI drugs have between a 20% and 50% increased risk for chronic kidney damage. Other studies during the same year found that the use of PPI drugs causes a 21% increased risk of stroke. It was also found that PPI users have a 50% higher 5-year death rate compared to other antacid medications such as H2 inhibitors.

April 2016

Pfizer agreed to pay $784.6 million to the U.S. government over allegations that Pfizer’s Wyeth unit was overcharging Medicaid for Protonix.

2018

4,517 PPI lawsuits have been consolidated into MDL in New Jersey federal court.  The lawsuits are scheduled to go on trial September 21, 2020, and are against the makers of Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and Protonix. The number of PPI lawsuits continues to grow.

References

LeAnn W. O’Neill, PharmD. “Long-Term Consequences of Chronic Proton Pump Inhibitor Use”, U.S. Pharmacist. Accessed February 5, 2019.

Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD. “Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) Side Effects, List of Names, and Uses”. Accessed February 5, 2019.

J. Patrick Waring, MD. “Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)”, International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. Accessed February 5, 2019.

Choosing Wisely. “Treating Heartburn and GERD”, ABIM Foundation. Accessed February 5, 2019.

Harvard Health Letter. “Proton-pump inhibitors”, Havard Health Publishing. Accessed February 5, 2019.

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