Plaintiffs who are already represented by an attorney will automatically be included in the settlement process. Other Benicar users that experienced gastrointestinal problems have until August 23, 2017 to contact an attorney and file a claim.
Cardiologist and mass torts attorney, Dr. Shezad Malik, is representing some of the plaintiffs in the settlement.
“We are down to about two weeks for those people to reach out and grab an attorney and make sure they have a valid case so they can get signed up,” says Dr. Malik from the Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. “They would have to rush to get their proof of usage and pertinent medical records reflecting hospitalization, or severe injury or weight loss or diagnosis of enteropathy or colitis. It is a very short window, but it is doable.
“There are somewhere around 2,300 plaintiffs that are already part of the litigation,” says Dr. Malik. “The number of plaintiffs is expected to grow but the average payout will be somewhere around $100,000. Some will get more, some will get less depending on the severity of their injuries.
“If you already have a case filed and you already have an attorney all you do is go through the settlement process. You upload all your records to show proof of usage and your injuries to the defense team and then they evaluate it.”
In March 2013, the FDA warned consumers the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil, marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor and generics, could cause sprue-like enteropathy. The FDA approved changes to the drug label at that time. It warned users they may experience chronic diarrhea, or possibly weight loss that could be severe enough to warrant hospitalization. Symptoms could begin months or even years after taking olmesartan.
Dr. Malik points out, “For someone who was in the hospital for a couple of days with an episode of diarrhea and didn’t really require any major medical therapies then they would get less than someone who was in the hospital for a week, had significant weight loss, or significant intestinal problems that required intensive medical care.
READ MORE BENICAR LEGAL NEWS
In a written statement on August 2, 2017 Daiichi Sankyo says it believes the claims made in this litigation are without merit.
“Daiichi Sankyo is committed to the health and safety of all patients taking our medications,” stated Glenn Gormley, MD, PhD, Executive Chairman and President, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. “We believe a settlement is in the best interest of all, and will allow us to continue our focus on bringing to market innovative medicines that help people live healthy and meaningful lives.”
The statement also added that olmesartan medoxomil has a “well-established safety profile with more than 53 million patient-years of use worldwide since 2002”.