Two individuals have joined together to file a class-action lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies for allegedly failing to warn consumers that prominent heartburn drug Zantac produces a carcinogen that far exceeds what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers safe for human consumption. Major pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi (SNY) and others are named as defendants in this lawsuit.

Class-Action Claims Pharmaceutical Companies Knew of Zantac Cancer Links

The named plaintiffs in this lawsuit are Lynn White and Nataliya Birman, who are represented by Beth Fegan – the founder and a managing member of consumer-rights law firm FeganScott. According to Fegan, the makers of Zantac touted the drug and its active ingredient, ranitidine, as completely safe. This allowed the heartburn medication to become of the best-selling drugs on the planet.

However, according to Fegan and the plaintiffs, the Zantac (ranitidine) is not nearly as safe as these pharmaceutical companies have claimed. According to the complaint, studies have shown that ranitidine creates cancer-causing chemical N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) when metabolized. The EPA, FDA, and World Health Organization have all classified NDMA as a carcinogen.

The lawsuit claims that White and Birman used Zantac (ranitidine) under the impression that the pharmaceutical companies’ safety claims were accurate. Concerns arose when the plaintiffs saw media coverage regarding scientific evidence of cancer-causing chemicals in Zantac.

According to Fegan, Zantac manufacturers were aware of studies disclosing the presence of the carcinogenic NDMA as early as the 1990s.

While the initial lawsuit only has two plaintiffs, FeganScott seeks to represent anyone who has purchased Zantac or a generic version of ranitidine. The plaintiffs and their attorney have also asked the court to initiate a medical monitoring program that can diagnose and treat any cancers brought on by the drug. Punitive damages have also been demanded due to what the plaintiffs characterize as egregious conduct and disregard for the safety of consumers.