What are PPI’s (Proton-Pump Inhibitor)

Prilosec and Nexium are popular prescription and over-the-counter drugs that reduce stomach acid production and are used to treat frequent heartburn. Recently, these and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prevacid, have been at the center of thousands of lawsuits filed by consumers who have suffered kidney complications like chronic kidney disease, kidney injury and acute interstitial nephritis

PPI’s Lawsuits Overview

Associated Products:  Protonix, Prevacid, Prilosec

Companies Involved:  AstraZeneca, AstraZeneca

Common Uses:  Heartburn. Dyspepsia. Barrett’s esophagus. Eosinophilic esophagitis.

How Many Lawsuits:  12,500+

Major Side Effects:  Short-term kidney problems, Acute kidney injury, Acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) Low magnesium levels Stroke Heart Attack Dementia

PPI’s are prescribed to treat:



Peptic ulcers, including after endoscopic treatment for bleeding.

As part of Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD or GORD)

Including symptomatic endoscopy-negative reflux and associated laryngopharyngeal reflux causing laryngitis and chronic cough.

Barrett’s esophagus.

Eosinophilic esophagitis.

Stress gastritis and ulcer prevention in critical care.

Gastrinomas and other conditions that cause hypersecretion of acid including Zollinger–Ellison syndrome.

Side Effects of PPI’s

PPI’s Controversy and Lawsuits

The Proton-Pump MDL 2789 lawsuits are being adjudicated upon by Judge Claire Cecchi and Judge Mark Falk in the United States District Court of New Jersey.
When the MDL was initially formed, the 161 cases were transferred to District Court of New Jersey. As recently as March 2019, there are more than 8,400 lawsuits pending, and more lawsuits are still being filed, although the first of the bellwether trials won’t take place until 2020.
In February 2017 the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied motion to combine 39 federal lawsuits against various PPI manufacturers into a single MDL.

But Seeing the number of cases being filed increases, the panel later reconsidered and officially formed MDL 2789 (PROTON-PUMP INHIBITOR PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION (NO. II)) in August 2017.

In 2015, scientific studies revealed that patients over 66 faced a two-fold risk of acute kidney injury from long-term PPI use.
  • Other studies showed a 1.16-fold increase in heart attack risk and double the risk of cardiovascular mortality when compared to patients taking
    H2 blockers for heartburn relief
  • Additional studies from Johns Hopkins University and the American Society of Nephrology linked long-term PPI use with a 20-50% increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and a 96% increased risk of kidney failure
  • PPIs Named in Lawsuits & Manufacturers Being Sued:
In 2015, AstraZeneca settled a lawsuit for allegedly participating in a kickback scheme.

The Justice Department alleged that AstraZeneca violated the False Claims Act, and rather than facing trial, AstraZeneca quickly settled for $7.9 million.

In 2013, AtraZeneca settled a class action lawsuit before trial when plaintiffs claimed AstraZeneca deceptively marketed Nexium as a superior acid reflux treatment, causing consumers to pay nearly 8x more instead of using the cheaper, equally effective generic version.
  • To avoid trial, AstraZeneca eventually paid $20 million to plaintiffs who purchased Nexium between March 1, 2001 and February 6, 2013.
  • Pfizer, Inc. paid $55 million to avoid trial in 2013 for allegedly engaging in unlawful marketing tactics designed to drive off-label use of the drug Protonix.


Compensation may be awarded to cover the medical expenses, travel to and from healthcare appointments, lost wages, pain, suffering or future medical care loss of income, pain and suffering, diminished enjoyment of life, as well as the need for lifelong medical treatment, funeral expenses.

In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the Defendants for promoting a dangerous drug.

A PPI Attorney can help you understand what compensation may be available to you based on your circumstances. If you or your loved one has suffered due to prescribed usage of any of the PPIs and is considering filing a law suit, contact a PPI Attorney for a free case evaluation.

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