Benicar Litigation Continues as Motion to Consolidate is Filed Posted on January 2, 2015 by Sally Nyemba Benicar litigation continues with a motion to consolidate filed in the Northern Ohio District Court. New product liability cases continue to be filed regarding the drug Benicar, as a motion for consolidation of Benicar lawsuits awaits a decision in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. After completing multiple tests and rigorous studies, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that Benicar, generically known as olmersartan medoxomil, is an unreasonably dangerous drug that is the cause of sprue-like enteropathy. The FDA concluded in 2013 that Benicar, a drug commonly prescribed to control blood pressure, was responsible for 23 serious reports of health related problems, which in some cases required hospitalization. FDA warnings were distributed to the leading manufacturers of Benicar including Daiichi Sankyo Inc. (Daichi), and Forest Laboratories (Forest). Following the release of the FDA warning, Daiichi, and Forest continued manufacturing and promoting Benicar to consumers and their doctors, despite the fact that it had been blacklisted as a dangerous drug. Recent settlement In a separate whistleblower case, the Department of Justice announced that the U.S. subsidiary of global pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd agreed to pay $39 million to the U.S. government and state Medicaid programs to settle claims it paid doctors kickbacks to prescribe its drugs. The deal comes out of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Daiichi sales representative Kathy Fragoules, who will get $6.1 million of the settlement. The case is U.S. ex rel. Fragoules v. Daiichi Sankyo Inc, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 10-10420. Defective design case Deborah Dirksen, a former Benicar consumer who is a part of the pending motion, filed a suit against Daiichi. Dirksen charged that Daichi failed to ensure the safety of its design, and that it owed a duty to its consumers to ensure that the drug was free of the type of harm that Dirksen has suffered. The “Defendants have a duty to provide adequate warnings and instructions for the olmersartan product(s), to use reasonable care to design a product that is unreasonably dangerous to users and to adequately test its products.” Therefore, Dirksen believes that Daiichi breached its primary responsibility to its consumers and should be held liable for marketing and selling Benicar. In addition to Dirksen’s suit, numerous other patients have also stated that it was not until after a few months or sometimes years after that they began experiencing Benicar side effects such as excessive weight loss, coupled with chronic diarrhea and intolerable intestinal anguish. The motion currently pending is requesting that all of the cases against the Daiichi and Forest, be consolidated in the Northern District of Ohio Court. The fact that there is evidence that shows that they continued to manufacture Benicar, promote it, and sell it, despite the FDA’s warning, establishes a strong case against the companies. In Re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation. The Dirksen lawsuit is Deborah Dirksen and Richard A. Dirksen vs. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., et al, case number 3:14-cv-03318-CSB-DGB in the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois.