Valsartan Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

Valsartan (brand name Diovan) is a prescription drug that millions of people have used. Recent consumers have filed numerous lawsuits against the overseas manufacturer and domestic distributors of Valsartan, alleging that they sold them Valsartan even though certain batches were contaminated with the known carcinogen NDMA. 

Litigation is ongoing at the time of this writing. 

What is Valsartan Used For?

Valsartan is an effective treatment against:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Strokes
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney malfunction

Valsartan-containing drugs are available by prescription only. Up until the FDA recall, Valsartan was within the top 100 most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. Since only certain batches were affected by the recall, Valsartan continued to rank in the top 200 even years after the recall.

Doctors typically prescribe Valsartan for long-term use, thereby raising the medical risk if the product turns out to be adulterated. 

The Valsartan Recall

Unfortunately, certain batches of Valsartan manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals were contaminated with a chemical called NDMA

Traditionally, NDMA is a component of certain types of rocket fuel. Its health risks include:

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Colon cancer 
  • Stomach cancer
  • Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract

Other potential risks of NDMA include cancer of the pancreas, intestines, kidneys, and esophagus. Although the consumption of NDMA, even long-term, will not necessarily cause any of these diseases, it will increase the risk of contracting one or more of them. 

Accordingly, on July 13, 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of some batches of Valsartan due to manufacturing impurities detected in these batches.  

Product Liability and Valsartan Litigation

There is more than one way to file a claim for injury by a defective product, such as a defective drug. The most popular (and arguably most effective) way to win a defective drug lawsuit is to file a strict product liability claim. 

You do not have to prove fault to win a strict product liability lawsuit, and you can sue anyone in the product’s chain of distribution. Your flexibility in choosing a defendant is particularly important in Valsartan litigation since the manufacturer is a Chinese company whose US-based assets are likely limited and difficult to locate. US distributors include Walgreens and CVS, two major pharmaceutical retailers.

The Consolidation of Litigation

Even though the FDA recall was limited to specific batches of Valsartan instead of all drugs containing Valsartan, Valsartan-related lawsuits multiplied. This state of affairs ran the risk of clogging the court system with numerous lawsuits alleging almost identical facts. 

Since this is a very inefficient way to run a judicial system, a New Jersey federal court consolidated these lawsuits in multidistrict litigation (MDL).

June 2023 Update

So far, the Valsartan MDL has attracted about 1,200 plaintiffs, and the number of plaintiffs appears to be topping out. There is a “sister” class action lawsuit involving the drug Zantac, which involved many more plaintiffs than the Valsartan MDL. 

In December 2022, the Zantac MDL judge dismissed most of these lawsuits on the grounds of insufficient evidence of causation between the drug and the plaintiffs’ condition. 

These dismissals sent a shock wave through the Valsartan MDL litigation because of the similarities between the two cases. Indeed, the Valsartan defendants later tried to use the same general strategy by seeking dismissal of the Valsartan MDL litigation. Fortunately, in June 2023, the judge refused to dismiss the Valsartan cases. This move paves the way for trial.

Consult a Florida Product Liability Attorney If You Think You Might Have a Valsartan Claim

You may have a Valsartan claim, just like over a thousand other people. Many of these plaintiffs could walk away with settlements in the high five figures or even the low six figures. If your claim is valid, there is no need to be left out. Contact an experienced Florida product liability lawyer for a free initial consultation.

Contact Our Product Liability Law Firm – Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

Contact a St. Petersburg product liability lawyer at Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.

Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 933-0015