Japanese drug company Daiichi Sankyo has offered $300 million to settle nearly 2,300 lawsuits filed over the company’s hypertension drugs Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor. Time has not run out to file a new claim, but the deadline is fast approaching:

  • August 23, 2017
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Celiac disease, sprue-like enteropathy

New claimants must retain legal counsel and complete the required paperwork by August 23. Contact our attorneys now to secure a free consultation.

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Time is extremely limited. Thousands of patients and families may be able to join the Benicar settlement. Do not miss this opportunity.

Laurence Banville

Japanese drug company Daiichi Sankyo has agreed to establish a $300 million trust fund, settling a wave of personal injury and wrongful death claims filed over the manufacturer’s popular hypertension drug Benicar. Financial compensation is now available to patients who took medications based on the chemical olmesartan medoxomil and were diagnosed with celiac disease (“sprue”) or a similar disorder known as sprue-like enteropathy.

Benicar Settlement: Who Can Secure Compensation?

Compensation may be available for patients who can demonstrate with documented medical evidence that taking Benicar resulted in symptoms associated with celiac disease:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • dehydration
  • unexplained weight loss

As proposed, Daiichi Sankyo’s settlement fund will be capped at $300 million. In short, the amount of money offered to injured patients and grieving families is limited and will run out. Crucially, the settlement fund will be open to patients and families who have already filed Benicar lawsuits, along with claimants who have yet to file suit.

Deadline For New Claims: August 23, 2017

Time, however, is limited. The deadline to pursue a new claim against the Benicar settlement fund is August 23, 2017. New claimants have until August 23, 2017 to retain experienced legal counsel and file the required documents. Hiring an attorney is mandatory. The process cannot be completed without legal representation.

Our Firm Is Not Accepting Cases

After August 23, the settlement fund’s Administrator will no longer be accepting new cases. We urge all patients and families who may have a claim against the Benicar settlement fund to contact our experienced product liability attorneys now. Time is running out.

Call our lawyers today to receive a free consultation, learn more about eligibility requirements and explore your legal options further. Worried about paying for an attorney? Our experienced lawyers always work on a contingency-fee basis – you owe us nothing until we secure compensation in your claim.

Benicar’s Link To Celiac-Like GI Symptoms

Daiichi Sankyo manufactures and markets a range of drugs based on the chemical olmesartan medoxomil, which relieves high blood pressure by relaxing tense blood vessels. Benicar is the company’s most visible hypertension drug, but variants branded under other names are also included in the company’s $300 settlement plan. Patients who took any one of the following four medications may be eligible for compensation:

  • Benicar
  • Benicar HCT
  • Azor
  • Tribenzor

Several years ago, medical researchers found evidence that these drugs appeared to cause a collection of gastrointestinal symptoms known as sprue-like enteropathy.

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Sprue is an older name for celiac disease, a condition of the autoimmune system linked to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. Sprue, or celiac disease, is a genetic disorder, passed in the form of genetic mutations from parents to children. A strikingly-similar condition, however, seems to develop far more often in patients who take olmesartan-based drugs, including Benicar, Azor and Tribenzor. Doctors dubbed this similar disorder sprue-like enteropathy.

Warning Label: Side Effects Can Take Months, Years To Develop

Soon after these new risks were identified, the US Food & Drug Administration pressured Daiichi Sankyo into strengthening its warning labels. In 2013, the company added prominent references to sprue-like enteropathy to labeling materials for Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor. The warnings instructed patients to watch for symptoms of “severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss,” apparent side effects that could develop months, or even years, after a patient began taking their medication.

Olmesartan Litigation Takes Off

It didn’t take long for patients and families to begin filing lawsuits against Daiichi Sankyo, accusing the company of concealing medical evidence from the public and healthcare professionals. After the first Benicar lawsuit was filed in 2014, dozens followed on its heels. Injured patients were joined in their legal fight by families, still grieving over the loss of a loved one to celiac-like side effects linked to olmesartan exposure.

Multi-District Litigation

Eventually, these lawsuits were consolidated by the federal court system. In 2015, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation agreed to transfer dozens of Benicar claims to a central court, the US District Court of New Jersey.

Hundreds of patients stepped forward, describing lengthy hospitalizations and debilitating symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and severe weight loss. Under the guidance of District Judge Robert Kugler and Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider, the lawsuits progressed through critical pre-trial proceedings as a group. Meanwhile, a parallel litigation was moving forward in the Atlantic County Superior Court, a state court in New Jersey.

Two years passed. Evidence was gathered. Attorneys fought. Motions to dismiss the claims whole-sale were filed and dismissed. Throughout the years of legal battle, Daiichi Sankyo maintained that Benicar, along with its other olmesartan-based drugs. were safe. The claims of patients and families, the company repeated, had no merit whatsoever.

Benicar Settlement: Details & Eligibility

Daiichi Sankyo continues to deny any wrongdoing. The pressures of litigation, however, appear to have broken the company’s will to fight on in court. On August 1, 2017, Daiichi Sankyo announced that it would settle nearly 2,300 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits for a maximum amount of $300 million.

The company has set up a private program, the Olmesartan Products Resolution Program, to process claims. Independent settlement administration company Brown Greer has been tapped to act as a Claims Administrator, reviewing each claimant’s application and medical records.

Covered Injuries & Medical Evidence

As the settlement program lays out, compensation awards are only available to injured patients who began taking an olmesartan-containing medication on or before May 1, 2015. The patient must have taken the olmesartan product for at least 30 days and their injuries must have been sustained in the United States.

The settlement outlines six levels of injury, which must be supported with documented medical evidence to be eligible for compensation:

Injury Level 1

  • Medical diagnosis or pathology reports consistent with:
    • sprue-like enteropathy
    • celiac sprue
    • gluten sensitivity
    • malabsorption
    • colitis (microscopic, lymphocytic or collagenous)
  • Weight loss of at least 5% of the claimant’s body weight or hospitalization of 3 days or more

Injury Level 2

  • Symptoms of a gastrointestinal disorder lasting more than 7 days:
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • unexplained weight loss
  • Medical evidence of a positive de-challenge reaction (side effects resolved when olmesartan-based product was discontinued)
  • Weight loss of at least 5% of the claimant’s body weight or hospitalization of 3 days or more

Injury Level 3

  • Claimants who meet the requirements of Injury Level 1 or 2, but do not satisfy the weight loss / hospitalization condition

Injury Level 4

  • Pre-existing gastrointestinal symptoms lasting more than 7 days
  • Symptoms aggravated when patient started taking an olmesartan-based drug:
    • Weight loss over 5 pounds or increase in number or severity of GI symptoms

Injury Level 5

  • Medical evidence demonstrating that, while claimant was taking an olmesartan-based drug, claimant experienced:
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Dehydration
    • Unexplained weight loss
  • Symptoms lasted more than five days in a single year
  • Claimant does not meet requirements for Injury Levels 1, 2, 3 or 4

Injury Level 6

  • Medical evidence demonstrating that, while claimant was taking an olmesartan-based drug, claimant experienced:
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Dehydration
    • Unexplained weight loss
  • Claimant cannot prove that symptoms lasted more than five days in a single year

Compensation awards will be determined on an individual basis through the use of a “Points” system, under which each claimant will be awarded a set number of points based on the results of medical records and their position in the Injury Level scheme. An additional Extraordinary Injury Fund, outside the basic Point system, has also been established to provide patients who suffered severe injuries with additional compensation.

Free Consultation

Learn more about your legal options in a free, no obligation consultation with one of our experienced product liability attorneys. Again, time is extremely limited. Claimants who have yet to file suit against Daiichi Sankyo will lose the ability to pursue compensation through the settlement fund on August 23, 2017. Take immediate action. Our lawyers are standing by.

Latest Benicar Lawsuit News

Laurence Banville - Benicar Lawyer
Thousands of patients and families have filed Benicar lawsuits, accusing the drug's manufacturer of concealing severe gastrointestinal side effects.

August 10, 2017 – CVS Health Won’t Cover Branded Benicar Anymore

In the wake of Daiichi Sankyo’s massive settlement, CVS Health has removed the Japanese company’s branded blood pressure drugs, including Benicar and Benicar HCT, from its official roster of covered medications, BioPharma Dive reports.

August 1, 2017 – Benicar Lawsuits Settled In $300 Million Agreement

Embattled pharmaceutical manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo has agreed to establish a $300 million settlement fund, resolving the claims of thousands of patients and families who say the company’s blood pressure medicaton Benicar causes sprue-like enteropathy. Reuters broke the news shortly after the Japanese company announced the settlement agreement in a press release.

July 25, 2017 – Daiichi Sankyo Moves US Headquarters To Bernards, New Jersey

Daiichi Sankyo, the Japanese drug company embroiled in a New Jersey-based litigation over hypertension drug Benicar, opened its new US headquarters to Bernards, New Jersey on June 27, 2017. NJ.com reports that around 700 Sankyo employees are already working at the facility. Just 25 miles to the east, thousands of lawsuits filed for gastrointestinal symptoms allegedly caused by Benicar are pending in a Newark federal court.

April 25, 2017 – Alembic Pharmaceuticals Wins Right To Sell Generic Benicar In US

Indian generic drug manufacturer Alembic has gained Food & Drug Administration approval to market and sell generic versions of Benicar and Benicar HCT in the United States, according to Business Standard. The drugs, based on the chemical olmesartan, will compete with Daiichi Sankyo’s branded products, which have been linked to sprue-like enteropathy, an intestinal disorder that closely resembles celiac disease.

February 1, 2017 – Texas Doctor No Longer Faces Benicar Malpractice Claims

A New Jersey federal court has refused one plaintiff’s request to have his Benicar lawsuit sent back to a state court in Texas. In an opinion dated January 30, District Judge Robert B. Kugler held that the case’s inclusion of medical malpractice claims against a Texas physician were “fraudulent,” according to Law360.

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