A woman from Ridgeway, Virginia, has now joined the growing lawsuit against the Zantac manufacturer. Deborah Haskins had been using the heartburn medication daily since 2005 only to realize years later that the drug gave her cancer in her esophagus. Dozens of other people have linked their similar cases to Haskins’s. Although it is unclear exactly when Haskins was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, it is believed that the carcinogen NDMA, which has been identified in trace amounts in Zantac and other generic forms of the drug, caused her cancer to develop.

Haskins’s lawsuit against the makers of the heartburn medication was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. In the lawsuit, Haskins claims that Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine, caused her to develop cancer because of the carcinogenic properties inherent in the product.

The lawsuit claims that the chemical structure of ranitidine is “inherently unstable” and can break down to the cancer-causing agent known as NDMA. Past studies have linked NDMA to cancers of the rectum, colon, kidneys, liver, and stomach.

The lawsuit is suing Zantac on the grounds that it was designed with a defect and failed to alert consumers to the risk. By not alerting people to the fact that Zantac could cause cancer, Haskins asserts that the manufacturer caused fraud by not alerting consumers to the dangers of their product. She also asserts that there was a litany of other battery charges that the manufacturer committed.

Named in the lawsuit was the United States manufacturer of Zantac, Sanofi. The lawsuit also lists past makers of the drug, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Haskins, who suffered from heartburn, began using Zantac in 2005 and took the 75 mg per day dosage. While the medication worked to relieve her heartburn symptoms, she claims it caused her to develop cancer in her esophagus, which is very deadly. The National Cancer Institute estimated that there were 17,650 new cases of esophageal cancer diagnosed in 2019, and about 16,080 people died from the disease.

Only one in five patients survive the cancer for five years.

Haskins claimed in the lawsuit that if she knew Zantac contained unsafe levels of the carcinogen NMDA, she never would have taken the heartburn medication. Her lawsuit hopes to compensate her for lost wages, medical expenses, and “loss of enjoyment of life,” because of the deadly cancer.

Zantac and all ranitidine generic drugs were removed from the market in October 2019 due to the potentially harmful effects of the medication. The FDA claimed that people could take 96 nanograms of NDMA without consequences. An independent test of Zantac found it contained NDMA “in excess of 3,000,000 nanograms per tablet.”

Following the FDA disclosure, pharmacy chains like CVS Health, the Kroger Company, Rite Aid, and Walgreens announced that they would be suspending the sale of Zantac and their genetic versions.

Before the FDA announcement, Zantac was a best-selling drug. It was worth about $128.9 million in 2018. Haskins’s lawsuit joins about a dozen others against the Paris-based manufacturer.

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