British pharmaceutical giant GSK has settled a U.S. lawsuit alleging its popular, though discontinued, heartburn drug Zantac causes cancer preventing the first such case from going to trial next month.
The company said in a statement that it “has reached a confidential settlement with James Goetz, and the case he filed in California state court, set to begin trial on July 24, 2023, will be dismissed. The settlement reflects the company’s desire to avoid distraction related to protracted litigation in this case. GSK does not admit any liability in this settlement and will continue to vigorously defend itself based on the facts and the science in all other Zantac cases.”
Goetz had sued the company, alleging “he developed bladder cancer from taking the drug. The trial was due to start on July 24, and would have been the first test of how Zantac cancer claims would fare before a jury.
The deal could set a precedent for thousands of cases set to go to trial next year. The drugmaker’s (GSK.L) shares rose nearly 5 percent, making it the best performer on London’s blue-chip FTSE 100,” Reuters reported.
GSK is not out of the woods yet, however. They medical giant is still looking at more than 5,000 similar lawsuits in California and close to 73,000 in Delaware.
In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised concerns about the presence of a potential human carcinogen called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in some ranitidine products, including Zantac. NDMA has been labeled as a potential human carcinogen based on animal studies.