Chris Coffin, co-lead counsel in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) case titled In re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation, and lead partner of Pendley, Baudin & Coffin’s pharmaceutical and medical device litigation practice, has helped to successfully negotiate a $300 million national settlement with Japanese corporation Daiichi Sankyo over its blood pressure medication Benicar.
Over 1,800 claims have been filed against Daiichi Sankyo linking Benicar to the development of serious gastrointestinal injuries. Impacted patients say they have suffered sprue-like enteropathy and celiac-like symptoms after taking Benicar.
If you have been injured after taking Benicar, you may be entitled to compensation under the settlement. For more information on the settlement eligibility criteria, visit: www.OlmesartanProductLitigationSettlement.com or contact us for a free review of your case to determine if you have an eligible claim.
Blood Pressure Meds & Gastrointestinal Injuries
Studies have established a link between the use of blood pressure medications containing the compound known as olmesartan and the development of serious gastrointestinal issues. Common blood pressure medications which contain olmesartan include: Benicar, Benicar HCT, Amor, and Tribenzor. All four olmesartan drugs were approved for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and have been widely prescribed in the United States. Additionally, all four olmesartan drugs are manufactured by the Japanese corporation, Daiichi Sankyo.
What is Olmesartan?
Olmesartan medoxomil is the active ingredient found in Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor. Olmesartan medoxomil has been approved for the treatment of hypertension. However, recent studies have found a link between the ingestion of olmesartan and the development of serious, and sometimes life threatening, gastrointestinal injuries.
Injuries Caused by Olmesartan Ingestion
Recent studies have established an association between the ingestion of olmesartan drugs, such as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor, and the development of serious gastrointestinal injuries such as olmesartan induced enteropathy. Olmesartan induced enteropathy (also referred to as sprue-like enteropathy) results in serious injuries including, but not limited to:
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Unexpected and Uncontrollable Weight Loss
- Severe Abdominal Pain
- Kidney Damage/Failure
- Villous Atrophy/Blunting
- Microscopic Colitis
First Discovery of Gastrointestinal Injuries
World renowned gastroenterologist, Dr. Joseph Murray, first discovered a potential connection between olmesartan and severe gastrointestinal problems when two patients he was treating for severe gastrointestinal symptoms at the Mayo Clinic experienced significant improvement after discontinuing olmesartan treatment. Dr. Murray then began assessing additional cases of unexplained severe gastrointestinal symptoms. In total, Dr. Murray studied 22 patients with unexplained severe sprue-like enteropathy while taking olmesartan therapy. All 22 patients tested negative for Celiac disease and did not respond to a gluten free diet. However, when olmesartan therapy was ceased all 22 patients exhibited a remarkable decrease in symptoms. As a result, Dr. Murray found an association between the development of severe sprue-like enteropathy and the ingestion of olmesartan containing drugs.
A complete copy of Dr. Murray's study can be found at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538487/
Changes to the Labeling of Olmesartan Drugs
Following the Dr. Murray's study, the FDA began reviewing all data and studies pertaining to olmesartan drugs. Following the FDA's investigation the FDA issued a safety announcement in July of 2013 warning that the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and generics) can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy. Additionally, the FDA required the label of all olmesartan drugs to be updated to include these concerns. However, the label change implemented by the makers of Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor still fails to fully inform and warn consumers of all the dangerous and serious side effects associated with the use of olmesartan products.
To view the FDA safety announcement concerning olmesartan products please visit: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm359477.htm
Recent studies have found a link between the ingestion of olmesartan and the development of serious, and sometimes life threatening, gastrointestinal injuries.
We are Here to Help
The lawyers at PBC are currently evaluating the potential settlement claims of people who were prescribed Benicar and developed serious gastrointestinal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious gastrointestinal injury as a result of taking Benicar or other Olmesartan drugs, please contact Pendley, Baudin & Coffin to have your case confidentially evaluated.