Benicar, known generically as omesartan medoxomil, is used to lower high blood pressure. Some patients, however, allege that after they took the medication they developed a condition called sprue-like enteropathy, which involves chronic diarrhea, weight loss and gastrointestinal problems.
One such lawsuit was filed by Louis Verduzco and Michael Ewald against Daiichi Sankyo, maker of Benicar, and Forest Laboratories, marketer of Benicar. According to court documents, both plaintiffs developed personal injuries including “sprue-like enteropathy, villous atrophy, lymphocytic colitis, microscopic colitis, collagenous colitis, and/or intestinal malabsorption.” These conditions resulted in chronic diarrhea, rapid weight loss, dehydration and/or acute renal failure.
The plaintiffs allege they were hospitalized for their conditions and require ongoing medical monitoring.
“Plaintiffs Louis Verduzco and Michael Ewald have suffered unavoidable, serious and life threatening physical injuries, severe emotional distress, and mental injuries in coping with their physical injuries, and have incurred and expended significant amounts for the medical care, hospitalizations, and medications, required to treat and care for olmesartan-related disease, pain and suffering and will continue to do so long into the future,” the lawsuit argues.
According to the lawsuit, in 2006, the FDA was concerned about the marketing claims made regarding Benicar, finding that Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories misled consumers by claiming Benicar was more effective than or safer than other drugs in the ARB class. Furthermore, the FDA found that the marketing did not include important risks and minimized the risks it did include. At the time, the FDA requested corrective measures be taken.
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The FDA has issued a drug safety communication regarding Benicar. In 2013, the agency warned that Benicar was linked to sprue-like enteropathy. At the time, the FDA requested a Benicar label change to reflect this risk.
Late in 2014, plaintiffs in other Benicar lawsuits filed a motion to consolidate those lawsuits for pretrial proceedings. That motion involved 15 federal cases and 30 state cases. A decision on consolidation has not been issued.
The newest lawsuit is Verduzco v. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-159 in US District Court, Northern District of California. The request for consolidation was filed under In Re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation.