AstraZeneca Coughs Up $425M in Landmark Heartburn Drug Settlement

( – Kidney injuries while using heartburn medication are the cause of a lawsuit against AstraZeneca. Consumers are claiming that medications Nexium and Prilosec caused unrepairable kidney injuries. The company states that the settlement is being made to avoid lengthy litigation expenses and allow all parties involved to move forward.

The kidney injuries noted have alleged that the medications resulted in developed chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. This settlement is similar to other settlements with GlaxoSmithKline, Proctor & Gamble, and Pfizer. This settlement is the largest.

While the settlement may sound like a large figure, the plaintiff’s attorneys at Seeger Weiss LLP and Douglas & London P.C. said the settlement would resolve around 11,000 claims, which results in less than $40,000 per injured party. At least one injured party did not join this lawsuit, which is pending in Louisiana.

The settlements reached in New Jersey and Delaware courts claimed that the medications did not accurately warn of these risks. The settlement details are confidential, and the company does not agree to any negligence.

GoodRx notes that the likelihood of kidney damage is low if the medication is only used as needed and other methods of handling heartburn are employed as possible. This is why the FDA approved the medication but noted that it should only be taken for up to 2 weeks, and if symptoms continue to be checked with a professional.

In a 2019 study, less than 1% of the 90,000 adults in the study suffered from acute kidney injury after taking the medication. The medication in question, regardless of manufacturer, is one of the most common and safest medications available. Studies have proven this regarding both acute and chronic kidney issues. Acute kidney issues are typically able to be resolved with medical help. Chronic kidney injuries are more complicated; thus, it is more difficult to find the root cause.

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