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Benicar Plaintiffs Continue Coming Forward

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Newark, NJAlthough Benicar lawsuits were only recently centralized in a multidistrict litigation, the number of lawsuits has already increased dramatically, jumping to almost 1,000. Benicar side effects lawsuits allege patients suffered serious side effects. Earlier in 2015, the maker of Benicar agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims the company illegally paid kickbacks to doctors for prescribing its medications.

Just a few months ago, the US Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agreed to consolidate Benicar lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation for pretrial proceedings. At the time the motion was filed there were roughly 45 lawsuits filed against Daiichi Sankyo. Since the multidistrict litigation was announced, however, the number of lawsuits added to the action has grown to 915 as of July 15, 2015, according to court documents. Those lawsuits currently sit in MDL 2606, before Judge Robert Kugler in US District Court in New Jersey.

Lawsuits filed against Daiichi Sankyo allege Benicar was not adequately tested before it was released on the market. Plaintiffs claim they suffered sprue-like enteropathy, a serious condition marked by severe diarrhea and weight loss. One lawsuit filed against Daiichi Sankyo claims Benicar was only tested for three months, even though it is generally prescribed for a minimum of six months.

The consolidation of lawsuits for pretrial proceedings is not a comment on their merit but an acknowledgement that they share similar questions of fact, and the discovery process would be more efficient if done as a consolidated action.

Benicar is prescribed to treat high blood pressure. In 2013, the FDA issued a warning about a potential link between the use of olmesartan (known by its brand name Benicar) and the development of sprue-like enteropathy. At the time, the FDA said a review of its Adverse Event Reporting System showed “clear evidence of an association between olmesartan and sprue-like enteropathy.”

In January 2015, the US Department of Justice announced that Daiichi Sankyo agreed to pay $39 million to resolve allegations of violations of the False Claims Act. Among the allegations made by the Department of Justice were that Daiichi Sankyo paid illegal kickbacks to doctors to encourage them to prescribe its medications, including Benicar, Welchol and Azor.

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READER COMMENTS

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I took Benicar for 2 years from 2009 to 2011. Severe stomach discomfort and later hospitalizations. During the same time period, Januvia was prescribed to me and I suffered a major stroke which left me 60 percent blind and physically weakened.

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