Late in 2014, a motion to consolidate lawsuits was filed with the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. That motion requested that the 15 federal cases and 30 state cases in New Jersey be consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the Northern District of Ohio. According to the motion, of the 15 federal cases, nine are already pending in Ohio.
Lawsuits filed in 2014 allege Benicar was defective and unreasonably dangerous for patients to take, resulting in serious health problems. One such lawsuit (Dirksen v. Daiichi Sankyo) filed against Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., and Forest Laboratories, notes that in 2013, the FDA released a Drug Safety Communication, warning about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy potentially linked to Benicar use. Symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea and substantial weight loss. The FDA noted at the time that the enteropathy may not appear until months or even years after patients began taking Benicar.
Further, the FDA noted that some patients may require hospitalization. When the FDA released its Drug Safety Communication, it noted that it had identified 23 serious reports of health problems linked to the use of Benicar.
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Deborah Dirksen alleges that as a result of taking Benicar, she developed gastrointestinal problems requiring multiple visits to the ER, treatment in the hospital for renal failure and continued medical monitoring.
The lawsuit also alleges that peer-reviewed studies suggested a connection between the use of olmesartan and the development of sprue-like enteropathy.
The motion for consolidation notes that more Benicar lawsuits will likely be filed.
The lawsuit is In Re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation. The Dirksen lawsuit is Deborah Dirksen and Richard A. Dirksen vs. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., et al, case number 3:14-cv-03318-CSB-DGB in the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois.