Benicar Users Reach $300 Million Settlement with Daiichi Sankyo in National Litigation
CAMDEN, NJ, Aug. 1, 2017 – A Japanese pharmaceutical company, Daiichi Sankyo, will pay $300 million to settle thousands of federal and state court lawsuits over its top-selling blood pressure drugs, Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor, according to an announcement made today by the lead Plaintiffs’ lawyers in U.S. federal district court.
The settlement was reached in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) case titled In re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2606, pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Camden Division. The federal MDL litigation is assigned to the Honorable Judge Robert Kugler and the Honorable Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider, who oversaw the settlement negotiations.
The agreement reached by the parties is estimated to encompass approximately 2,500 claims by individuals who allege they have suffered severe and sometimes life-threatening gastrointestinal injuries while using medications containing the active ingredient olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor). Reports have linked Olmesartan to sprue-like enteropathy and celiac disease-like symptoms, gastrointestinal conditions that inhibit a person's ability to absorb nutrients, due to changes in the intestinal tract, which appear similar to the changes seen with celiac disease. The litigation was resolved as the parties prepared for pre-trial hearings, and an anticipated first trial in federal court.
Christopher L. Coffin and Adam M. Slater, Co-Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs in the national litigation, characterized the settlement as an outstanding result for the Plaintiffs. “We are very pleased with the outcome of this hard-fought litigation. This is a gratifying resolution for thousands of patients who suffered severe gastrointestinal injuries while using these blood pressure medications,” said Coffin.
The settlement was negotiated by the Plaintiffs’ Negotiating Committee comprised of Troy A. Rafferty of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty; Proctor, P.A.; Adam M. Slater of Maize, Slater, Katz and Freeman; Tara D. Sutton of Robins Kaplan L.L.P.; and Christopher L. Coffin of Pendley, Baudin, Coffin, L.L.P. On behalf of the Plaintiffs’ Negotiating Committee, Slater recognized the efforts of the numerous law firms from around the country who helped make the settlement possible: “This settlement is the product of hard work by many lawyers from around the country, and is a testament to the resources, teamwork and cooperation needed to successfully represent people in complex pharmaceutical litigation like this.”
Under the settlement, claimants who meet specified criteria will be eligible for compensation. More information regarding settlement eligibility criteria and deadlines for the Olmesartan Products Resolution Program can be found at www.OlmesartanProductLitigationSettlement.com.