Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) and its sister drugs Azor and Tribenzor are used to treat high blood pressure. But they may cause severe gastrointestinal injuries, including the rare disorder sprue-like enteropathy. Originally the drug labels did not warn against these side effects.
Daiichi Sankyo reached a $300 million settlement to resolve 2,300 Benicar lawsuits.
After developing intestinal injuries while taking Benicar and its sister drugs, more than 2,000 patients filed lawsuits against drug maker Daiichi Sankyo seeking financial compensation for injury-related losses.
On August 1, 2017, Daiichi Sankyo reached a $300 million settlement to resolve these lawsuits.
Benicar lawsuits alleged that Daiichi Sankyo:
- Brought to market products that cause serious gastrointestinal injuries
- Inadequately warned about the risk of gastrointestinal injury from Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor
- Misrepresented the safety of olmesartan products, despite knowing (or having enough information to know) that Benicar and similar drugs are unsafe when used as directed
- Designed defective, unsafe, and inherently dangerous pharmaceutical products
- Did not adequately test Benicar and similar drugs
- Failed in its duty to create safe products
- Created products that cause harm that far outweighs their benefit
- Valued profits over the safety and wellbeing of patients
- Caused patient harm and financial losses as a result of these acts and omissions
Benicar Lawsuits Consolidated into MDL
In March 2015, a group of federal judges ordered that Benicar lawsuits filed in different states be consolidated into a single multidistrict litigation (MDL, or mass tort) in New Jersey. Around 2,300 claims were eventually consolidated in the MDL.
A mass tort is similar to a class action in that it groups together many similar lawsuits for streamlined processing. But unlike a class action, a mass tort allows each lawsuit to be handled individually. This means that MDL plaintiffs have their own lawsuit and, for patients who are seriously injured, it may also mean that they have a better chance of receiving a fair financial recovery.
Lawsuits Result in $300M Settlement
On August 1, 2017, Daiichi Sankyo reached a $300 million settlement with plaintiffs who filed lawsuits over Benicar and related drugs. This settlement fund covers all lawsuits filed against the drug maker since January 2014. A portion of this fund will also go to attorney fees and the Claims Administrator.
“We believe a settlement is in the best interest of all.”
Glenn Gormley, Daiichi Sankyo’s Executive Chairman and President, said, “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.”
In settling these lawsuits, Daiichi Sankyo did not admit any wrongdoing.
But the $300 million will hit the company extra hard given its financial situation. In 2016, Daiichi Sankyo lost patent exclusivity for Benicar, which had generated billions in revenue. In the wake of that blow, Daiichi Sankyo laid off more than 1,200 employees and scaled back its operations in Germany and Japan.
Don’t Miss Out on a Million-Dollar Settlement
If you or a loved one suffered side effects from a drug and those effects were not listed on the warning label, you may be eligible for a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer. Contact us today to learn your rights and explore your options. You could be owed money for damages.
Our attorneys have extensive experience taking on Big Pharma, and we have won more than $4 billion for our clients. We operate on the contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless you win an award or settlement.