Heartburn drug maker hid cancer risk for over 40 years


February 16, 2023, 08:03 – BLiTZ – News For more than 40 years, Zantac, the manufacturer of the drug for ulcers and heartburn, hid information about the carcinogenicity of the drug and continued to sell it.

The British company Glaxo received approval for the release of a drug with the active ingredient ranitidine in 1978. The drug has become the best-selling prescription drug in the world.

Data on the increased risk of cancer from taking Zantac appeared only in 2019, writes Bloomberg, citing regulatory documents, studies and court materials.

It turned out that the drug contains the carcinogen NDMA, created by ranitidine itself. In the spring of 2020, the US regulator banned its release and acceptance.

Previously, NDMA was added to rocket fuel. Modern scientists use it to induce cancer in laboratory rats. Studies have shown that a small amount of this substance is not dangerous. However, ranitidine contained an excessive amount of it, which increased over time.

More than 70,000 people who took Zantac or its generics sued the company in US courts. The first trial is scheduled for the end of February 2023. The defendants were Pfizer, Sanofi and other pharmaceutical companies that sold the drug.

NDMA (short for N-nitrosodimethylamine) is a yellow liquid that dissolves in water. The substance is most toxic to the liver. By the 1970s, it was considered one of the most potent carcinogens known. Its single dose of less than a milligram can cause a mutation in mouse cells and provoke the development of tumors. Two grams can kill a person in a few days.

Earlier, the BLiTZ reported that Russian dentists complained about the lack of a number of popular foreign drugs and materials.


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