Nexium (Esomeprazole) Lawsuit
Esomeprazole is most commonly known by its brand name, Nexium, and is commonly referred to as “the Purple Pill.” It is included in a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are intended to reduce the production of stomach acid.
Nexium is a product of multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. While there are prescription 20mg capsules of Nexium, the drug is also sold in over-the-counter (OTC) capsules.
According to AstraZeneca, Nexium generated sales of $1.932 billion in fiscal year 2017. AstraZeneca reported that it took in roughly $14.4 billion between the launch of esomeprazole in 2001 and 2005.
While Nexium is one of multiple PPIs prescribed by doctors to treat stomach acid issues, studies have shown the drug also involves serious side effects that may include kidney disease, injuries, or failure. These types of issues have resulted in multiple lawsuits being filed against AstraZeneca.
If you or your loved one has suffered kidney damage or another injury after taking Nexium or another PPI, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation. Call Williams Hart at (713) 352-7071 today to have our Nexium lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
You Could Be Owed Compensation
While AstraZeneca initially warned consumers about potential side effects of Nexium such as nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and dizziness, many people have filed lawsuits against the company for failure to warn about or properly investigate more serious complications. Some of these actions have resulted in class action lawsuits.
According to a February 2015 article published in the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology Research and Practice, PPIs are the most widely prescribed class of medications in the United States and account for over $10 billion in annual health care costs. In August 2017, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created a Transfer Order to move 161 cases from all over the nation into the jurisdiction of the District of New Jersey.
Some recent settlements include:
$20 Million – AstraZeneca – 2013 – Suffolk County Superior Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- AstraZeneca agreed to settle all claims in a class action lawsuit with a total payment of $20 million.
- The lawsuit claimed, but AstraZeneca denied, that AstraZeneca deceptively marketed Nexium.
$7.9 Million – AstraZeneca – 2015 – Department of Justice
- AstraZeneca paid the government $7.9 million in a settlement after they were accused of violating the False Claims Act by engaging in a kickback scheme.
- The United States alleged AstraZeneca agreed to provide remuneration to Medco Health Solutions in exchange for the pharmacy benefit manager maintaining Nexium’s “sole and exclusive” status on certain formularies and through other marketing activities related to those formularies.
The amount to which a Nexium victim could be entitled depends on several factors, which is why people will want to be sure to retain legal counsel.
Chronic Kidney Disease and Nexium
Nexium is often prescribed to prevent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It may also be used to treat excessive stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Nexium often provides longer-lasting effects than most antacids in dealing with heartburn.
A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) in April 2016 found that PPI exposure was associated with an increased risk of incident chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). ESRD occurs when CKD reaches an advanced stage.
The study also found that patients treated with PPIs also had significantly elevated risks of doubling of serum creatinine level and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) decline. Symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop over time and may include:
- Sleep problems
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Muscle twitches
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- High blood pressure
Certain people can be at a heightened risk of CKD. Some of the factors that increase a person’s risk of CKD include old age, diabetes, obesity, and smoking. Any individual with a family history of kidney disease or abnormal kidney structure can also be more susceptible to CKD.
CKD affects virtually every part of a person’s body. In addition to damage to the central nervous system and a decreased immune response that makes a person more vulnerable to infection, other potential complications may include:
- Fluid retention, causing possible swelling in the arms and legs, high blood pressure, or fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
- Increased potassium levels in the blood (hyperkalemia), possibly affecting heart function
- Cardiovascular disease
- Weakened bones and increased risk of fractures
- Pericarditis, or the swelling and irritation of the pericardium, the thin sac-like membrane surrounding the heart
Pregnant women can also be at heightened risk because CKD complications can carry risks for both the mother and the developing fetus. In the worst cases, CKD can result in irreversible damage or ESRD. ESRD can require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
If you have experienced any adverse symptoms after using Nexium, you will want to immediately discuss your issues with your doctor. Your next step should be to contact an experienced lawyer.
Why Choose Williams Hart?
The attorneys of Williams Hart have been helping injury victims for more than 35 years. Our firm is prepared to fight large corporations, such as a pharmaceutical company like AstraZeneca.
We can help you determine the most advantageous legal action for your particular case. Williams Hart will work to make sure you obtain all of the compensation you need and deserve.
Our firm has experience handling many claims relating to PPIs such as Nexium. We understand the complexity of these types of claims and can help victims collect the necessary medical evidence in order to reach a successful resolution.
Pharmaceutical companies frequently deny liability in these types of cases, but Williams Hart can make sure that these entities are held accountable. We have secured multiple record-breaking verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
If you want to pursue any kind of legal claim relating to your injuries caused by the use of Nexium, do not hesitate to contact Williams Hart. Our firm has maintained a commitment to the protection and defense of the rights of individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have questions when they or their loved ones are suffering from CKD or other injuries caused by Nexium. Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Nexium can be found below.
If your specific question is not answered here, you can contact our firm at (713) 352-7071 to schedule a free consultation that will allow our lawyers to answer all of your legal questions.
In most cases, the primary liable party will be the drug manufacturer. Such claims are often based on the manufacturer producing a dangerous or defective medication, failing to accurately warn of a drug’s risks, knowingly hiding dangers of a drug from the public, or a drug being illegally or improperly marketed. In some cases, a person’s physician could also bear liability. For example, a doctor could be responsible if Nexium was prescribed despite a person not showing any of the symptoms specified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA stated in a May 2010 Drug Safety Communication that the agency was revising the prescription and OTC labels for PPIs to include new information about “a possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with the use of these medications.” Nexium was among the PM listed in the Drug Safety Communication. The new information was based on the FDA’s review of epidemiological studies that reported an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with PPI use, but the Communication was updated in March 2011 after the agency determined an osteoporosis and fracture warning on OTC PPI medication Drug Facts label was not indicated at the time.
The FDA concluded that fracture risk with short-term, low dose PPI use is unlikely, but said available data showed that patients at highest risk for fractures received high doses of prescription PPIs or used a PPI for one year or more. In December 2014, the FDA again updated the Drug Facts label to contain a warning about acute interstitial nephritis, a kidney condition that had been observed in patients taking PPIs including Nexium. “Acute interstitial nephritis may occur at any point during PPI therapy and is generally attributed to an idiopathic hypersensitivity reaction,” the FDA stated. “Discontinue Nexium if acute interstitial nephritis develops.”
The FDA notes that PPIs are “effective in treating a variety of gastrointestinal disorders,” and people should not stop taking a PPI unless told to do so by their doctors. In general, you should not switch or stop taking a PPI without first consulting your physician.
In addition to the free consultation Williams Hart provides, our firm also represents clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay nothing unless you recover a monetary award.
The kinds of compensation a person can recover often depend on the specific aspects of their case. Some of the types of damages most commonly awarded include awards for medical bills, treatment costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact a Nexium Lawsuit Attorney Today
Have you or your loved one experienced kidney problems because of use of Nexium? You will want to make sure that you seek legal representation as soon as possible.
People who attempt to handle these types of claims on their own often struggle to be heard. Some victims may be offered settlements that are far less than what they are actually entitled to.
Williams Hart has been representing clients in cases like these since 1983. You can put our experience to work for you when you call (713) 352-7071 today to schedule a free consultation. Our proton pump inhibitor attorneys are standing by to help you.