Last month, a judge overseeing the Benicar multidistrict litigation (MDL) ruled European executives would not have to testify in Benicar lawsuits filed in the United States. This came as a blow to plaintiffs, who believe the testimony would have helped prove their allegations, but they aren’t going to let Daiichi Sankyo’s European division off the hook.
Plaintiffs believe two high-ranking members of the Clinical Safety and Pharmacovigilance Department of Daiichi Sankyo’s Europe division had intensive involvement in the study of potential Benicar side effects, including the gastrointestinal condition sprue-like enteropathy.
However, because Daiichi Sankyo’s European division was not named as a defendant in the existing lawsuits, a judge ruled the court had no authority to compel these witnesses to testify.
Benicar plaintiffs strongly believe these executives were directly complicit in allowing the medication on the market without properly warning patients of the risks. To hold these executives and the company responsible, plaintiffs have now filed a second Benicar lawsuit against the company’s European division.
The new lawsuit will require European executives to testify and could help Benicar patients hold the company responsible.
What Is Benicar?
Benicar is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, conditions increasingly affecting America’s elderly population. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, Benicar works by relaxing blood vessels so they can move blood with less effort, thereby reducing blood pressure.
Unfortunately, Benicar has one serious side effect: sprue-like enteropathy. This gastrointestinal condition can cause intense pain, dehydration, and chronic diarrhea requiring hospitalization.
Plaintiffs in the Benicar litigation believe the company knew of the risk of sprue-like enteropathy, but failed to warn patients and doctors. Daiichi Sankyo currently faces more than 1,700 Benicar lawsuits centralized in New Jersey.