Two plaintiffs—one from New York and the other from Virginia—recently filed a new generic Zantac (ranitidine) class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs claim that generic ranitidine manufacturer Perrigo Company put consumers at risk when selling products that could contain the carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). They also name as defendants CVS Health Co. and Walmart Stores, since both distributed Perrigo’s medications to the public.
On October 23, 2019, Perrigo announced a recall of all pack sizes of ranitidine, due to the potential presence of NDMA.
Plaintiffs Both Exposed to Ranitidine Purchased at Walmart and CVS
According to the complaint, the New York plaintiff purchased and consumed CVS Health Acid Reducer (CHAR), a generic ranitidine medication manufactured by Perrigo and sold by CVS. She says she originally learned via news sources about the possible presence of NDMA in the medication.
When purchasing the product, she reviewed the labels and disclosures, and never saw anything about potential NDMA exposure. Had she known that the products could contain NDMA, she says she never would have purchased them.
The Virginia plaintiff purchased and consumed Perrigo’s generic ranitidine medication under the brand name “Equate,” sold by Walmart. He says he also recently learned via the news of the possibility that the products contained NDMA, and was never warned of any exposure to a carcinogen in the product materials.
These two plaintiffs seek to represent all others in New York and Virginia who purchased these products for use as directed. They claim that they are entitled to a full refund of the purchase price of the products, along with statutory damages, damages for injuries sustained in consuming high levels of NDMA, and damages related to the defendants’ conduct.
CVS and Walmart Pull Generic Zantac Before Perrigo Recall
Perrigo’s ranitidine products are over-the-counter medications designed to reduce stomach acid for the treatment of heartburn, indigestion, and sour stomach.
On September 13, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement announcing the presence of NDAM in ranitidine-containing medications. At the time they noted that some medications including the brand-name drug Zantac contained a nitrosamine called NDMA at low levels.
NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen and is a known environmental contaminant found in water and some foods, including meats, dairy products, and vegetables. The FDA has been investigating NDMA in blood pressure and heart failure medications for over a year.
Following the September announcement, the FDA followed with several more announcements of product recalls because of the potential presence of NDMA. Sandoz and Apotex, two generic ranitidine manufacturers, announced recalls before Perrigo, which halted shipments on October 8th and pulled its products from the shelves a couple of weeks later.
Prior to that, at the end of September, CVS pulled Zantac and its own generic versions of the medication from its shelves, after the FDA warned about NDMA. Walmart followed CVS and also pulled Zantac and generic versions of the medication.