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What Is the Deal With Valsartan Lawsuits?

You have seen a lot of commercials and have probably been searching the internet for some straightforward explanations about Valsartan Lawsuits.

Very simply, Valsartan (aka Diovan) is part of a class of drugs, including Losartan (aka Cozaar) and Irbesartan (aka Avapro), that are used in different combinations to treat heart failure, high blood pressure and certain effects of diabetes. The Valsartan drugs basically block a natural chemical in the body called angiotensin II, which can constrict a patient’s blood vessels and cause hypertension.

The issue is not with the active ingredients of the drugs, the issue is that the generic versions of the drugs were being made mostly in overseas labs. Apparently, the processes utilized in those labs yielded by-products that tainted or contaminated the drugs, which were then shipped to consumers in the United States.

The United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating and has found that the drugs contain chemicals like N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). Those chemicals may have the potential to cause digestive tract cancer and/or serious liver damage. This resulted in widespread recalls published by the FDA.

This also resulted in lawsuits across the country that have been consolidated in federal court, in New Jersey. Those lawsuits allege that the tainted or contaminated Valsartan drugs can cause serious injuries, such as:

  • Liver Cancer
  • Liver Damage
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Kidney Damage
  • Gastric Cancer

Those lawsuits also allege that the generic drug companies knew about this issue since at least 2012, but did nothing about it.

Not all Valsartan drugs are tainted or contaminated. Generally, to potentially qualify for a Valsartan drug lawsuit, you would need to show that you took a tainted or contaminated Valsartan drug and suffered with digestive tract cancer or severe liver damage. The easiest way to show that you took a bad Valsartan drug is by looking through your pharmacy records to get the specific lot of the Valsartan drug you took. Then you would just compare the lot numbers against the lot numbers listed on the FDA website, to see if your lot was recalled. You might also have received a recall notice (probably around July 2018), telling you that your lot had been recalled.

Once you confirm that you took a tainted or contaminated Valsartan drug, you would just have to find a diagnosis in your hospital or other medical records of digestive tract cancer or severe liver damage. You can contact your pharmacist, doctor and hospital to get a copy of your records, or you can enlist the help of a law firm to help you do that. After you know that you have taken a bad Valsartan drug and been diagnosed with a related injury, then you can make an informed choice of whether you qualify for and wish to be part of the ongoing Valsartan drug litigations.

One last thing. If you think that you might have a possible Valsartan drug claim, you want to pay attention to it sooner, rather than later. There are different deadlines and statutes of limitations that could bar you from filing any claims if you wait too long.

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About this Author

Martin P. Schrama, Stark Law, Intellectual Property and Litigation Law Attorney
Shareholder

Martin P. Schrama is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark's Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort, Intellectual Property and Green Litigation Groups. Mr. Schrama has extensive experience litigating on both the trial and appellate levels of the federal and state courts of New Jersey and New York, as well as numerous other jurisdictions throughout the nation in a pro hac vice capacity. This experience also extends to regular practice before AAA, JAMS and various other alternate dispute resolution fora.

The primary focus of Mr. Schrama’s practice is...

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Stefanie Colella Walsh, Pharmaceutical Litigation Attorney, Stark Law Firm
Shareholder

Stefanie Colella-Walsh is a Shareholder and member of Stark & Stark’s Litigation, Insurance Coverage & Liability, Intellectual Property and Mass Torts Groups where she concentrates her practice in complex litigation with a focus in mass tort and pharmaceutical litigation. She also handles litigation related to nursing home negligence and abuse claims, elder abuse, and assisted living facility litigation.

Recently, Ms. Colella-Walsh was a member of the national trial team involved the first trial in the country of a TVT-Secur transvaginal mesh device case against Ethicon/Johnson and Johnson. 

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