Valsartan is the generic name for a common medication designed to treat high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks. In 2018, it was discovered that generic forms of this drug had been contaminated with high levels of a known carcinogen, and a major recall was made of these drugs.
Since then, a number of patients have come forward, willing to hold the pharmaceutical companies responsible. If you or a loved one believe that taking a generic form of Valsartan may have played a role in the development of cancer or liver disease, you may be eligible for compensation.
Valsartan was first created in 1990 and given the brand name Diovan. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of this drug in 2002, and by 2010, it was earning its owners, Novartis, $6 Billion per year.
When the patent on Diovan ended in 2012, the FDA then approved several generic medications that contained Valsartan. This is a common procedure designed to allow more of us to have medication at a reasonable price. These generic versions are made overseas, primarily in China and India, but are monitored by the FDA.
According to Bloomberg, these overseas inspections have declined due to a lack of funding and support from the FDA, who is under pressure to ensure enough medication is arriving for Americans. It may be due to this that, in 2018, it was discovered that several generic Valsartan medications contained high levels of NDMA, a known carcinogen. These were immediately recalled by the FDA, but it was difficult to determine how long this contamination had been occurring. Ongoing investigations have found that a number of companies making the drugs had been violating strict FDA regulations, and have been warned that they may lose their ability to sell in the USA.
Despite some research suggesting that short-term use of contaminated Valsartan would not cause an increase in cancer, doctors are still very concerned. The link between NDMA and cancer has been clearly defined, and there is strong reason to believe that at least some patients have developed their illness because of the tainted drug.
- What Should I Do if I Have Been Affected by Valsartan?
- How Do I Know if I Qualify to Be a Part of a Valsartan Lawsuit?
- Current Cases Against Valsartan
- How Does a Valsartan Lawsuit Work?
- What Is Valsartan?
- What Is NDMA?
- Contact a Lawyer Today
What Should I Do if I Have Been Affected by Valsartan?
If you or a loved one took a generic form of Valsartan before 2018 and, after one year, developed a form of cancer, leukemia, or lymphoma, you may be eligible for compensation for your suffering. It is important to speak to a lawyer who can walk you through the information required to determine if your case is eligible, and these consultations will not cost you money.
You can fill out our form to reach out to a legal expert about holding Valsartan accountable. We have a network of lawyers who have agreed to not charge unless your case is successful, and any fees will come out of your settlement.
How Do I Know if I Qualify to Be a Part of a Valsartan Lawsuit?
To help with determining your eligibility, consider collecting all past medical records, as well as keeping any bottles, labels, and receipts that prove you were taking Valsartan before you developed symptoms.
Other steps you may take that are helpful, but not necessary, include:
- Checking to see if your specific medication is on the FDA list of recalled products.
- Speaking to your doctor about receiving a summary of your experiences with both the drug and your current illness.
- Collecting records of the medical costs of your illness to date.
Do I Need to Have Cancer to Be a Part of a Valsartan Lawsuit?
No. If you have developed any long-term illness, including liver failure, kidney failure, or thyroid issues, you should also speak to a lawyer.
While initial cases were put forward by people who had not suffered medical consequences from their use of generic Valsartan, legal firms are currently unable to assist in further cases of this type.
If you had previously taken generic Valsartan and are concerned about your health, your first call should be to your doctor. While it is important to not continue taking recalled medication, transitioning to safer treatments should be done under the supervision of medical professionals.
Companies currently facing lawsuits include:
- Actavis LLC
- A-S Medication Solutions LLC
- AvKARE Inc.
- Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc.
- Camber Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Hetero Labs Ltd.
- J. Harkins Company Inc. (Pharma Pac)
- Major Pharmaceuticals
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals
- NuCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Preferred Pharmaceuticals
- Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc.
- Solco Healthcare, U.S. LLC
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.
- Torrent Pharmaceuticals
- RemedyRepack Inc.
- Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
Current Cases Against Valsartan
There has yet to be a settlement for any case regarding the generic medications that contain Valsartan. However, current cases have been deemed worthy of a full trial, including a major Multidistrict Litigation (or MDL).
These cases are ongoing, with plaintiffs joining the trials regularly. It is not too late to be a part of a class action or MDL against your pharmaceutical company.
Erwin vs. Prinston (2018)
In August 2018, Eric Erwin filed a class action suit against Prinston pharmaceuticals, as well as other medical companies, on behalf of its customers. This was one of the first cases in the country against a drug company that supplied illegal medication.
Erwin claims that, by including non-FDA approved material and not disclosing this, the companies were committing fraud. He claims that, because of the increased risk of cancer that existed due to the introduction of NDMA, and the FDA’s recall of the drug, the product was not fit for purchase, and therefore the consumers had a right to seek damages for the money they spent on the drug.
This was especially true as the drug company claimed that their generic versions were equally as effective and safe as the brand-name alternative, when this was not true.
It is worth noting that Erwin filed this case without having cancer himself.
Duffy et al vs. Solco Healthcare et al (2018)
In the same month, Elizabeth and John Duffy filed a similar complaint against Solco Healthcare, Priston, and other pharmaceutical companies, as well as Walgreens, who supplied the tainted medication without performing due diligence checks on their products.
This was filed in New York before being moved later. The case joined the current Multidistrict Litigation.
Current Multidistrict Litigation (2019)
Since the Erwin and Duffy Cases, dozens of other cases have arisen against several generic drug companies, a number of which combined in February of 2019 to form a Multidistrict Litigation (or MDL). The number of cases that joined this MDL has now grown to close to 100.
Of these cases, the majority are personal injury lawsuits. Unlike Erwin, these patients also claim that their development of cancers and liver failures were a direct result of their taking the generic forms of Valsartan.
How Does a Valsartan Lawsuit Work?
While each case can vary, we’ve covered what you can expect out of a lawsuit against Valsartan below.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Join a Valsartan Lawsuit?
You don’t need to work with a lawyer to seek justice against the companies who are responsible. However, due to the complex nature of the U.S. legal system, we highly recommend doing so.
Lawyers have experience and understanding of all the options you have available to you and are familiar with the ins and outs of a civil case. They know what judges look for in submissions and how to deal with the strategies of giant corporations as they do everything in their power to hinder your quest for justice.
Your local lawyer will also be aware of other cases, both in your area and in other jurisdictions, and may help you become part of a class-action suit. Class actions help plaintiffs pool resources, giving them a better opportunity to take on pharmaceutical companies that will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting against you.
Lawyers often take civil cases “on a contingency basis.” This means the lawyer will take no fees upfront and will only accept fees if you succeed in getting damages. This is usually a small percentage of your win.
Because of this, high-value legal advice and assistance is available to every person, regardless of their economic situation. Do not let your own financial struggles be what stops you from getting the representation you deserve. You can fill out our form to connect with lawyers in your area who will work on a contingency basis.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Valsartan Lawsuit?
Civil lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies generally take between one and five years, although some have been known to take as long as ten. This is because there will be many court appearances, and both parties have the ability to appeal the first decisions if they believe justice has not been done.
During this time, you will be required to write a number of statements and may be asked to be a witness, either taking the stand in court or having your story recorded. However, most of the time you will not be required to attend hearings if you have a lawyer representing you.
You can concentrate on your health and wellbeing instead, and will be kept up to date on any changes in the case. You do not always have to be in the jurisdiction the case is taking place in.
Cases that settle before judgment often take far less time than those that do not. This is part of the reason why many lawyers will advise you to take any settlement that will cover your medical costs. However, the final decision will always be yours.
As there have been few Valsartan cases before the court before, it is expected that a case may take a little longer. This is a positive thing, as it means the court is taking your circumstances extremely seriously.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Valsartan Lawsuit?
The Statute of Limitations is the rules that surround how long after an event you can seek justice for it. For example, a person who is hurt by a faulty product may only have three years to sue for their pain.
The length of time, however, is based on many factors, the most important being jurisdiction. In one state, the statute of limitations for medical injuries may be one year, while in another, it may be ten. It also matters where you were living when you first took the medication and how long between taking the medication and developing X.
Because the Statute of Limitations is a complex matter, the safest assumption to have is that it is almost up. Don’t hesitate in seeing a lawyer, in case you are running out of time. Trust that they have the knowledge to determine if your case falls within the statute of limitations and if you still have the power to seek reparations.
How Much Can You Get From a Valsartan Lawsuit?
At this point, no plaintiff has received damages or out-of-court settlement in cases that surround Valsartan. However, based on other pharmaceutical cases, we can offer an estimate that a plaintiff would receive between fifty thousand and five million dollars. This large difference is due to how important specific circumstances are.
A plaintiff that has larger medical bills, or ongoing bills, is more likely to be awarded more. It is rare that a settlement does not cover all medical bills, and more likely that they will include some measure of punitive damages (money for the emotional and psychological stress caused by the case itself).
It is also important to know that plaintiffs in a Multidistrict Litigation may receive different settlements, some missing out altogether. Each case is taken at its own value, for the sake of justice.
How Long Does It Take to Get Your Money After You Settle a Lawsuit?
After a settlement or awarding of damages, it may still take months before you have money in your bank account. This is because every cent must be carefully accounted for by all parties.
The first thing that happens will be that your medical bills will be paid for by the defendant, followed by them sending the remaining amount to your lawyer or lawyers. Your lawyer will then take their fee, the first time they have been paid in perhaps years. This fee is usually a percentage and is rarely over five percent of the money. You will then receive the remaining funds in an electronic transfer or cheque.
In the case of class actions, this may take longer as each plaintiff’s medical expenses must be covered before the remaining money is allocated across the board. This includes working out ongoing expenses for many patients.
If, for example, you will continue needing dialysis, you shall receive more money than a plaintiff who does not, but it will be given in a way to ensure it is used for that dialysis (often through a hospital arrangement).
What Is Valsartan?
Valsartan is the generic name of the brand-name drug Diovan. It is a drug known as an “Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist,” which means that it acts on blood vessels to help control blood pressure, and relieve pressure on the heart. Because of this, Valsartan, and similar drugs, are highly effective and have saved many lives.
Brand name Diovan does not contain any carcinogenic contaminants and is closely monitored. While it does have side effects, including nausea, dizziness, and rhinitis, its main severe complication is renal stress. While kidney failure can occur if unmonitored, patients rarely experience this before it can be reversed.
While generic Valsartan has all the same side effects as the brand-name Diovan, many forms of it have been found to contain contaminants including N‐nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA.
What Is NDMA?
N‐nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a group 2a carcinogen, which means there is a high likelihood that it causes cancer in humans. It is a molecule that forms during the manufacturing of medicines, and extremely low doses are found normally in not only drugs but even bacon and cheese. There is no evidence that these levels cause cancer.
At higher levels, however, patients can become up to thirty times more likely to develop cancer. It has been shown in other research that it may also cause serious liver disease. For this reason, the testing of manufacturing processes to ensure low levels is important.
Medical scientists are currently unsure how NDMAs cause cancer but are continually working on research.
NDMA in Other Medications
NDMA has also recently been found in several other medications including the popular heartburn medication Zantac. Our legal professionals are just as interested in cases in which patients believe they developed cancer due to these tainted medications.
Contact a Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have concerns about how tainted medication has possibly led to the development of cancer or liver failure, please contact a legal professional by filling out our form to talk about your circumstances.
By doing so, you’ll be put in touch with our network of lawyers who work on a contingency basis, not taking any fees unless you win, and then only from your settlement. Everyone deserves justice, and we’ll do everything we can to help you receive it.