NEVER FORGET: Pfizer, several others sued over dangers caused by PPIs
By Ramon Tomey // Feb 15, 2023

Pfizer and several other drug makers were sued by different individuals who suffered from serious side effects after taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

According to MedicalNewsToday, PPIs work by reducing the levels of acids produced by the stomach. They are often used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and stomach ulcers. However, many who took PPIs for heartburn ended up damaging their kidneys instead.

As of January 2023, there were 13,553 PPI lawsuits pending in federal court – out of a total of 18,517 that had been filed in a PPI multidistrict legislation (MDL).

Protonix, manufactured by Pfizer, is one example of a PPI. Plaintiffs in the MDLs accused Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Takeda Pharmaceuticals of failing to warn consumers of the risks of these drugs. Victims alleged that they suffered from kidney disease, kidney injury, kidney failure and acute interstitial nephritis in the course of their PPI treatment.

PPI users who sued drug manufacturers asked a federal judicial panel in October 2016 to consolidate all federal kidney injury cases into a single MDL. At that time, 15 cases asserting similar claims were pending in 12 district courts. By February of the following year, the number of related federal lawsuits reached 39.

However, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied the MDL request in February 2017. According to the panel, the named defendants were competitors in the drug industry. It also pointed out that some of the PPIs were available over the counter, while some others required a prescription.

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In August of that year, the panel ordered the cases to be consolidated into one single MDL in the District of New Jersey. It assigned U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to oversee the proceedings. One bellwether trial for an MDL – No. 2789 – was originally scheduled in November 2022, but was rescheduled for March of this year.

Pfizer shells out millions to settle Protonix lawsuits

Prior to the MDLs, Pfizer had twice settled with the U.S. government to avoid a court battle.

According to a December 2012 press release by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the New York-based drug giant agreed to pay $55 million plus interest to resolve allegations that it misbranded Protonix. The company, specifically its Wyeth subsidiary, allegedly promoted the PPI to physicians for unapproved uses.

"Wyeth trained its sales force to promote Protonix for all forms of GERD, beyond its limited erosive esophagitis indication," the DOJ said. Sales representatives also "frequently promoted Protonix to physicians for unapproved uses, such as symptomatic GERD."

"In addition, Wyeth allegedly promoted Protonix as the 'best PPI for nighttime heartburn' even though there was never any clinical evidence that Protonix was more effective than any other PPI for nighttime heartburn."

Four years later, Pfizer and Wyeth agreed to a $784.6 million settlement to drop allegations that the latter overcharged Medicaid for Protonix. An April 2016 statement by the DOJ said Wyeth "failed to report deep discounts" on two kinds of Protonix it made available to thousands of hospitals across the country. (Related: NEVER FORGET: Pfizer paid almost $785M settlement in 2016 due to overcharging Medicaid for heartburn drug.)

"Under the Medicaid program, which is the nation's provider of health insurance to the poor and disabled, drug companies must report to the government the best prices they offer other customers for their brand name drugs," said the Justice Department.

Head over to for more about lawsuits against Pfizer.

Watch Dr. Len Saputo discuss why PPIs such as Pfizer's Protonix increase the risk of intestinal infections below.

This video is from the Health Medicine channel on

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CRIME CARTEL: Pfizer paid out $2.3 billion in a settlement to Washington for illegally promoting its drugs.

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Sources include: 1 2

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