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Benicar Site Carries Tons of Info, but Appears to Omit Sprue-Like Enteropathy

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Parsippany, NJCredit Daiichi Sankyo for telling it like it is - at least as far as any pharmaceutical company is prepared to go. Side effects are listed right on the main landing page at Benicar.com without having to navigate through an endless series of links to locate information. Even the handsome senior in a wet suit shown as an illustration is admitted to being a model, and not necessarily a patient or health care professional. And yet, that hasn’t stopped 1,239 plaintiffs from filing Benicar lawsuits. And those are the manufacturer’s own numbers, released in a Form 10-K Report.

First, however, a primer of sorts over Benicar and those involved. Benicar was developed by Daiichi Sankyo and marketed in partnership with Forest Laboratories between 2002 and 2008. Forest Laboratories was eventually acquired by Actavis, with the latter going on to acquire Allergan in 2015 in a multibillion-dollar deal. Actavis then changed its name to Allergan Plc.

It’s necessary to explain that, in order to note the Form 10-K filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this year for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2015 was filed by Warner Chilcott Ld. and Allergan Plc - the latter having that previous relationship with Daiichi Sankyo with regard to Benicar.

But back to Daiichi Sankyo, and its relationship to Benicar side effects. The Benicar home page is the closest one might find to having side effects, both common and rare, advertised up front. Various side effects associated with Benicar, a popular drug prescribed to regulate blood pressure, are listed: dizziness, feeling faint, kidney problems.

And diarrhea. The latter is associated with sprue-like enteropathy, a rare but serious gastrointestinal condition that is associated with Benicar Illness and Weight Loss. Chronic diarrhea can foster weight loss, together with severe dehydration given the difficulty in retaining fluids.

It’s interesting to point out that patients considering Benicar, or doctors considering Benicar for their patients, are advised to take note of “a lot of diarrhea or vomiting” already present, before Benicar is even administered. An obvious concern, given the possibility that Benicar could foster diarrhea and thus make an already bad situation even more dire.

“Serious side effects may also include severe, chronic diarrhea with considerable weight loss, which may develop months to years after starting Benicar or Benicar HCT.”

Harsh words indeed - but at least they are there, for all to see, on the landing page of the Benicar.com site.

There is, however, one glaring omission: any actual reference to “sprue-like enteropathy.” It is presumed that sprue-like enteropathy is identified in official medication guides, as mandated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013. However, beyond the reference to severe Diarrhea and Benicar Illness and Weight Loss, there is no reference to sprue-like enteropathy, and thus no opportunity for a quizzical prospective patient to undertake a web search of the term, in order to determine just what sprue-like enteropathy is, and just how devastating it can be.

It is assumed that the model depicted in the Benicar website, were he to be suffering from sprue-like enteropathy, would not be pictured in a wet suit, but rather in a robe and slippers, and steps from the nearest bathroom.

Still, credit the manufacturer for presenting a website that is as factual in both the positive and negative aspects of a pharmaceutical, as one will find.

Benicar (olmesartan) is oft prescribed to control blood pressure, a common issue amongst the aging American population. It is expected that Benicar lawsuits will continue beyond the 1,239 already in the pipeline and awaiting bellwether trials to start later this year.

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