AstraZeneca will pay $425 million to settle lawsuits on behalf of consumers who suffered kidney injuries while using its heartburn medications Nexium and Prilosec.
While the specific terms of the settlement are confidential, AstraZeneca stated that the agreements effectively resolve the product liability claims that are currently pending. Only one case remains pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.
The company emphasized that it admits no wrongdoing in the settlement agreement and believes that the claims “are without merit.” AstraZeneca views these settlements as a means to avoid continued costly litigation and continue its mission of delivering life-changing medicines to patients worldwide.
The settlement, facilitated by plaintiffs’ attorneys Seeger Weiss LLP and Douglas & London P.C., is expected to resolve litigation against AstraZeneca for approximately 11,000 claims.
These lawsuits alleged that the heartburn medications could lead to kidney injuries, potentially developing into chronic kidney disease and, ultimately, end-stage renal disease. Additionally, plaintiffs claimed that the companies failed to conduct adequate research and concealed the risks associated with taking proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) medications.
Notably, the plaintiffs have not reached a settlement with Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of PPI drugs Prevacid and Dexilant, and plan to continue pursuing claims against the company.
AstraZeneca’s settlement is an addition to earlier settlements reached with GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble, and Pfizer, totaling $108.5 million.