“The impact to the financial position of the company is not considered material because, upon presentation of proper claim documentation, the settlement fund is expected to be comprised primarily of proceeds from several of Daiichi Sankyo Group’s insurance companies supplemented with company funds.
Daiichi Sankyo believes that the claims made in this litigation are without merit, and does not admit liability.”
We don’t believe we did anything wrong and it doesn’t matter much anyway because our numerous insurance companies are footing most of the bill.
These are the auspices under which Daiichi-Sankyo announced that it was making almost a third of a billion dollars available to settle liability cases filed over claims that Benicar and its other olmesartan-based medications caused sprue-like enteropathy.
Covered under the settlement are cases related to Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor. The terms of the settlement dictate that at least 95% of those who have filed claims against the company must participate in order for settlement payouts to proceed.
That list of claimants stretches well into the thousands. Daiichi-Sankyo’s own press release states that “almost 2300” cases are already actively filed in court, and there are no doubt many more in preparation.
Benicar and other olmesartan-based drugs have been the subject of approximately three and a half years of litigation, as claims of severe gastrointestinal distress became increasingly common. Sprue-like enteropathy can cause intense pain, weight loss, dehydration, and diarrhea to the point of hospitalization. It is a serious condition with very serious implications for those that suffer from it.
Enteropathy, however, was not the first danger associated with Benicar. In 2010, the FDA announced an investigation into claims that the blood pressure medication was responsible for various cardiovascular risks. These risks were heightened in those with Type II diabetes.
A safety warning linking Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy was issued in 2013 when the FDA mandated that Benicar carry a warning label specific to the condition. The warning was based on studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic and others which showed that patients’ enteropathy symptoms ceased once they stopped taking Benicar. Upon resuming exposure to the drug, the symptoms returned.