If you suffered severe gastrointestinal problems while taking Benicar (generic name: olmesartan) for hypertension, sign up to claim your settlement money by August 23. 2017. On August 1, manufacturers Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. and Forest Laboratories agreed to pay a $300 million settlement. Any victims who haven’t yet sued can fill out this form to secure representation before the upcoming deadline passes.
Who Can Still Sign Up to Claim Some Benicar Settlement Money?
You may qualify if you took Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor or Tribenzor before May 2015 and suffered gastrointestinal problems, including:
- Chronic and/or severe diarrhea lasting anywhere from three months to several years
- Significant weight loss
- Sprue-like enteropathy (typical signs include fatigue, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, chronic dehydration)
- Symptoms that mimic Celiac disease, but don’t improve after implementing a gluten-free diet
Mayo Clinic Study Solves Celiac Disease Mystery
The Mayo Clinic’s 2012 study linking olmesartan to severe, unexplained sprue-like enteropathy proved subjects didn’t have Celiac. All 22 subjects took olmesartan-based drugs to manage their hypertension for at least six months before non-responsive Celiac symptoms appeared. In fact, some patients took olmesartan for three years before experiencing sudden, chronic diarrhea and weight loss, among other GI problems. Initial diagnoses ranged from unexplained sprue to refractory Celiac disease that didn’t respond to dietary changes or prescription drug treatments.
The Mayo Clinic took biopsy samples from all 22 patients and detected no transglutaminase antibodies in any patient’s GI tract. (These antibodies are the key to diagnosing Celiac; if they aren’t present, then the person isn’t actually gluten-intolerant.) Once researchers had the subjects stop taking their 40 mg. daily dose of Benicar, all 22 showed measurable clinical improvement. Follow-up biopsies confirmed the researchers’ hunch: Olesartan-induced internal inflammation and tissue damage shows signs of healing. Even after eating gluten and ceasing all corticosteroid use, the sprue-like symptoms never returned. In fact, several malnourished subjects were able put on weight again. However, patients who took Benicar again exhibited the same symptoms they had before discontinuing it.
FDA Warning Triggers Wave of Blood Pressure Drug Lawsuits
After the Mayo Clinic’s study, the FDA issued a Benicar drug safety warning about sprue-like enteropathy symptoms in July 2013. In addition to that study, the agency reviewed its adverse event report system (FAERS) as well as other medical databases. The FDA then concluded that “clear evidence of an association between olmesartan and sprue-like enteropathy” exists.
Shortly afterward, a Texas plaintiff filed the first Benicar lawsuit in 2014. Since then, more than 3,000 plaintiffs sued Daiichi after they developed severe GI tract problems on olesartan. In April 2015, federal judges consolidated all Benicar claims under a multi-district litigation (MDL 2606). Judge Robert B. Kugler oversaw the New Jersey MDL litigation proceedings. Then on August 1, 2017, Daiichi agreed to pay $300 million to settle all claims involving GI tract injuries.
What You Can Do
If you think you may be eligible for the $300MM settlement, fill out your free claim evaluation form immediately. To receive your settlement payment, your lawyer must file your claim before 11:59 pm EDT on August 23, 2017. Don’t wait any longer – the deadline to sign up for your part of this money is almost here!