Thousands of proton pump inhibitor lawsuits claim that Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and similar heartburn and acid reflux medicines caused serious kidney problems in people who took them. PPI lawsuits claim AstraZeneca, Takeda and other drug manufacturers didn’t do enough to warn patients and doctors about the possible risks as the companies became aware of them.
PPI lawsuits blame the heartburn drugs for causing four specific types of kidney damage: kidney disease, kidney injury, kidney failure and acute interstitial nephritis, or AIN. Several PPI brands are named in the lawsuits. They include the prescription versions of Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix and Dexilant — as well as over-the-counter Prilosec OTC, Nexium 24HR and Prevacid 24HR.
The lawsuits also argue that manufacturers failed to warn people of the drugs’ dangers. Some Prilosec lawsuits allege that AstraZeneca knew of kidney risks for at least 10 years before warning the public.
As of October 2019, there were 13,370 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits pending in federal court — out of a total of 14,248 that had been filed. A judicial panel combined the cases into a multidistrict litigation, or MDL, in August 2017.
The number of lawsuits grew quickly, tripling during the first three months of 2019 alone. By mid-2019, it had become the second-largest mass litigation in the United States. Attorneys expect the MDL could include thousands more PPI lawsuits. The judge overseeing the litigation has scheduled the first bellwether trial for Sept. 21, 2020.