Judge enters order certifying the classes in blood-pressure drug litigation
This week, the Honorable U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler, entered a 97-page order certifying valsartan-related consumer and insurer economic loss and medical monitoring classes against the manufacturer, retail pharmacy, and wholesaler defendants in this multi-district litigation (MDL) that arose from the 2018-2019 recalls of the defendants’ carcinogen-contaminated generic hypertension medicines, see In re Valsartan, Losartan, Irbesartan Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 19md2875 (D.N.J.)
Valsartan is a popular generic prescription medicine indicated to treat hypertension, and was originally sold under the trade names of DIOVAN® and EXFORGE®. In 2018, about 1.5 million Americans were taking valsartan-containing medicines to help contain their blood pressure. From mid-2018 to early 2019, many of the generic versions of valsartan were recalled because they were contaminated with high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). These are both extremely potent carcinogens and are treated as among the most dangerous genotoxic impurities by the FDA.
“We are grateful for Judge Kugler’s thoughtful and well-reasoned decision to certify classes of economic loss and medical monitoring claims,” said class co-lead counsel, John Davis. “As a result of this opinion, millions of American consumers and insurers will now have the opportunity to band together and seek justice against the manufacturers, retail pharmacies, and wholesalers who manufactured, distributed, and dispensed adulterated valsartan-containing drugs in the United States.
Generic drugs are a large and growing segment of the pharmaceutical market. In 2015, it was estimated that generic drugs accounted for 88% of all prescription drug sales.
Judge Kugler found in his opinion that the contamination resulted from the defendants’ failure to comply with standards that ensure, among other things, the quality and purity of prescription drugs sold in the United States.
“The defendants’ own documents and testimony from the defendants’ employees, confirm that the defendants engaged in serious misconduct that resulted in their failure to prevent or detect the contamination,” said Davis.
Davis, a partner at Slack Davis Sanger, serves on the court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (“PEC”) that serves as plaintiffs’ leadership for the approximately 1,000 personal injury cases and economic loss and medical monitoring class actions. Along with co-lead attorneys Conlee Whiteley and Ruben Honik, Judge Kugler’s Order appoints Mr. Davis as Class Counsel for the consumer economic loss class claims.
Since 1993, Slack Davis Sanger has been serving clients nationally and internationally with personal injury claims, wrongful death, and medical malpractice claims. With a combined experience of more than 250 years, Slack Davis Sanger attorneys have extensive experience in litigation involving class action lawsuits and whistleblower cases.
For more information or to speak with John Davis, please contact Marketing Manager Stephanie Eitrheim at Slack Davis Sanger at 512-225-5322.