July 13, 2016 — The first trial involving intestinal side effects of the blood pressure drug Benicar have been pushed back to 2017.
The judge presiding over the federal litigation originally scheduled a target trial date in late 2016. However, the date will be pushed back another year to give lawyers time to conduct depositions in Hawaii.
Lawyers have also narrowed a list of 30 plaintiffs to 10 who could be chosen for the first trial, according to the New Jersey Law Journal.
Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories are accused of failing to warn users about a gastrointestinal side effect known a sprue-like enteropathy. The symptoms include chronic diarrhea and colitis (intestinal inflammation). It resembles Celiac disease or a food allergy.
As of June 16, around 1,350 lawsuits were pending in a centralized Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2606) in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey. Another 70 lawsuit are filed in New Jersey state court.
Some of the plaintiffs experienced dozens of diarrhea attacks every day, lost up to 100 pounds, and became malnourished. A few plaintiffs developed complications of malnutrition, such as cataracts or infections.
In July 2013, the FDA issued a Safety Communication after identifying 23 cases of Benicar-induced diarrhea, weight-loss, and intestinal villous atrophy. All of the patients improved after discontinuing Benicar.
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