Many people suffer from heartburn and then take a drug called Nexium to get relief. Unfortunately, for some people, Nexium has caused them to suffer even worse physical problems when they developed side effects attributed to use of this drug. Other issues involved in legal battles over Nexium include accusations of price fixing, and negligent behavior by the manufacturer because they did not fully disclose potential side effects on their packaging.
AstraZeneca & Nexium
In 2001, drug manufacturer AstraZeneca introduced Nexium (esomeprazole), a new prescription drug, to the marketplace. This is a science-led biopharmaceutical business that develops and sells innovative medicines to over 200 million people worldwide. The company is active in over 100 countries, employing over 50,000 people globally. They discover, develop, manufacture and market small molecules and biologics to support healing efforts in several important areas of medical treatment, including inflammation.
Nexium is one drug in a class of heartburn drugs known as PPIs, Proton pump inhibitors. The PPIs are designed to provide potent and long-lasting reduction of the production of gastric acid, a key factor in the condition known as heartburn. PPI drugs, including Nexium, are some of the most widely sold drugs in the world. Cost of the various PPI drugs varies significantly.
Protein Pump Inhibitors
PPIs are used to treat and prevent heartburn and other ailments associated to production of gastric acid. The body creates gastric acid in order to breakdown food and to facilitate release of micronutrients to the body. When there is too much gastric acid, the result can be seen in complaints of painful heartburn or indigestion. If there are duodenal ulcers, reduction of gastric acid can aid in the healing process. PPIs are inactive when taken, but in an acid environment, the drug is activated and it then deactivates the body’s proton pump. The drug takes effect quickly, and lasts about 24 hours. There are, however, cautions against continual and long-term usage of PPI drugs.
Nexium – Hidden Risks
Several previous studies have revealed serious problems that have developed following use of Nexium and other PPIs for heartburn relief. The product packaging does disclose some potential side effects to watch for, such as headaches, abdominal pain and dry mouth. More serious side effects have been revealed in the studies listed below:
Study Date Side Effect Findings
April 2015 Acute Kidney Injury More than twice as likely in Nexium patients
February 2016 Chronic Kidney Disease 20–50% higher risk
February 2016 Dementia 44% higher risk
January 2017 Asthma in Newborns Increases risk when taken during pregnancy
January 2017 Stomach Infections Increased risk
December 2016 Stroke Risk May increase risk
Although AstraZeneca offered warnings to patients taking prescription Nexium (esomeprazole) since 2001, they are accused of not providing adequate warnings about more serious potential side effects. Some of these more serious side effects include a high risk for developing kidney problems, bone fractures and dementia. The company did not provide warnings of these risks despite knowledge of academic studies that revealed those conditions may develop from taking Nexium over extended periods of time.
Lawsuits – Nexium
As the more serious side effects of taking Nexium were revealed over time, hundreds of people have taking legal action to receive financial compensation through a Nexium lawsuit. Those affected by serious side effects had no warnings from the manufacturer or sellers of this drug that they could suffer physical harm due to use of this drug. There already have been major cash settlements in several class action lawsuits against AstraZeneca involving Nexium. Some people have filed individual lawsuits and many others already have participated in class action lawsuits.
- Damage Claims – In addition to devastating physical harm, damage claims include requests for fair compensation to pay for related financial costs, such as medical care, work loss, short- and long-term caregiver expenses and other cost that are due to Nexium side effects. Damage claims address several areas of responsibility: defects in design, marketing and manufacturing.
- Negligence – A key element of these class action injury lawsuits involves negligence. Claims made accuse AstraZeneca of negligent behavior in several areas of concern. In one major class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in 2012, 512 persons cited negligence in drug design, manufacture and marketing, stating these are reasons for the defects that resulted in their suffering.
- Side Effects – Major areas of concern are side effects that result in chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, bone fractures and dementia. These medical problems result in enormous financial costs for treatment and long-term care and income loss. Some people had such severe damage to kidneys that they had to undergo dialysis, loss of the kidney or a transplant procedure.
- Lawsuit Specifics – A major lawsuit claim was that AstraZeneca failed to use “ordinary care” in the production and sales of this drug, especially in that any product warnings of harmful side effects was inadequate. Another claim charged that AstraZeneca misrepresented this product as safe when they failed to disclose information about harmful side effects to users or the medical community. Additional claims of fraud were made that the company intentionally misrepresented the product with unsubstantiated claims, resulting in financial benefits for Astra-Zeneca.
- Fair Compensation – Claims for fair compensation for victims of Nexium side effects can be extremely high. Medical and extended care costs can be upwards of $80,000 a year or higher. In some cases, the victim may not be able to return to work at all, which is another cost included in these lawsuits. Claims made include fair compensation for medical bills, lifestyle changes, emotional trauma, income loss, and injuries related to use of Nexium.
Class Action Lawsuits & Settlements
Most of the damage claims in class action lawsuits against AstraZeneca for Nexium side effects cite problems that were not included in any of the drug’s safety information. Other legal claims involved moves the company made to encourage use and purchase of Nexium over other cheaper but nearly identical drugs, like Prilosec. Another aspect of this deceit is seen in attempts to manipulate the availability or use of this drug in the marketplace
Three class-action Nexium lawsuits were settled in 2015. One case had been ongoing for ten years and resulted in a $20 million settlement. The issue in this case was claims by Astra-Zeneca that Nexium was more effective than a cheaper drug that was just as effective. In another case during that same month, the company agreed to pay $7.9 million to settle claims of a kickback conspiracy. A third case settlement involved Teva Pharmaceuticals and an attempt to keep generic versions of Nexium off the market. That resulted in a $24 million settlement.
Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has taken the drug Nexium and later developed serious physical harm, it is worthwhile to consult an experienced Personal Injury Attorney to determine if you have legal options to pursue to obtain fair compensation for any related damage claims. They also can advise you about any class action lawsuits you may be eligible to join. You should be able to obtain a free consultation so you can then decide what type of legal action you wish to pursue.
To learn more about Nexium lawsuits, contact our experienced Personal Injury Attorney. Call (insert firm name and city/state) at: (insert phone number).