The first lawsuit was filed in February 2014 by a Texas resident alleging serious injury as a result of taking the drug, but many more are likely to follow. There are several claims that potential plaintiffs can make with the help of a qualified Benicar lawyer.
Benicar was aggressively marketed by Sankyo and Forest Labs as a safe and efficacious alternative for patients with intolerance for other classes of antihypertensive drugs including angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. They called Benicar the “ARB with superior efficacy.”
This earned the co-promoters a slap on the wrist by the FDA in 2006 for making false and misleading statements because the studies did not substantiate their claims. The drug was also reviewed in 2010 to determine if there was increased risk of cardiac problems or cancer, but found no evidence to suggest that there was. Despite all this attention, Sanyo and Forest Labs racked up more than $2 billion in sales in 2012 from Benicar alone, representing millions of prescriptions, and because the medication is for the management of hypertension, it is likely that most of these prescriptions were ongoing.
The problem with Benicar emerged 10 years after it had been circulating in the US market. It turns out that patients on Benicar who exhibited symptoms of Celiac disease but were serologically negative for the disorder were actually suffering from a condition known as sprue-like enteropathy. It caused chronic diarrhea and malnutrition that increased in severity over time until the damage becomes permanent and irreversible. The link between the mysterious condition and Benicar was finally established when the symptoms stopped when Benicar use was discontinued.
The first Benicar lawsuit alleges that Sankyo and Forest Labs failed to conduct adequate clinical testing of the drug prior to being sold on the market. It further claimed that they knew or should have known that use of Benicar of more than one year increased the risks of serious and permanent side effects such as sprue-like enteropathy, and failed to warn the public about these risks.