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December 16, 2020

Zantac MDL Defendants Argue Claims Are Preempted

Keller Lenkner’s Ashley Keller argued on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Zantac MDL yesterday, opposing the defendants’ arguments that state-law claims over design and labeling defects should be dismissed because they are preempted by federal law. 

Keller, who chairs the MDL plaintiffs’ Law & Briefing Committee, argued that state laws create multiple duties to consumers, not all of which conflict with federal law. “There cannot be preemption when there are parallel claims like this,” Keller said.

The Zantac MDL coordinates suits accusing Pfizer Inc., Sanofi SA, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline LLC—as well as generic makers, distributors, pharmacies and others in the supply chain—of false advertising, failure to warn and other claims associated with cancer-causing NDMA.

According to the coverage: “The FDA warned in September 2019 that trace amounts of NDMA were found in Zantac and similar generic drugs. On April 1, the agency pulled all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs from the market over concerns that the drug, when stored at temperatures higher than room temperature, could produce unacceptable levels of the carcinogen.”

“The FDA has set an allowable daily limit of 96 nanograms of NDMA, but researchers have found more than 3 million nanograms in a dose of Zantac. NDMA is also found in red meat, tobacco and beer.”

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