Industry groups back drugmakers’ appeal in Zantac cancer lawsuits

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Zantac

Industry groups back drugmakers’ appeal in Zantac cancer lawsuits

By Brendan Pierson
 
June 20 (Reuters) – A bid by GSK (GSK.L) and other drugmakers to stop more than 70,000 lawsuits in Delaware over discontinued heartburn drug Zantac has received the backing of leading U.S. industry groups, including the United States Chamber of Commerce and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
 
In a friend-of-the-court brief posted to the Delaware Superior Court’s docket on Thursday, the groups said that a Delaware judge’s recent ruling allowing the lawsuits to proceed jeopardized the state’s business-friendly reputation and threatened to turn it into “a hotbed of products-liability and mass-tort litigation.”
 
GSK, Pfizer (PFE.N), Sanofi (SASY.PA), and Boehringer Ingelheim, which all sold Zantac at times, had asked Judge Vivian Medinilla to bar plaintiffs from offering expert testimony linking Zantac to cancer, arguing that it was not based on sound scientific methods. The plaintiffs’ cases depend on that testimony, and cannot go to trial without it.

 
After the judge refused, the companies petitioned her for leave to appeal directly to the Delaware Supreme Court. The industry groups in Thursday’s filing are asking the judge to grant that petition.