FTSE 100 pharmaceutical giant GSK launches Zantac appeal as company seeks damage control

Tuesday June 11, 2024 7:31 a.m.

GSK faces nearly 70,000 lawsuits in Delaware

GSK announced today that it has taken the first steps to appeal the Delaware Superior Court’s recent so-called Daubert decision regarding its allegedly cancer-causing heartburn treatment, Zantac.

The ruling, issued two weeks ago by Judge Vivian Medinilla, said scientific evidence presented by lawyers in more than 70,000 cases was admissible, a result GSK and its peers sought to block.

The ruling left the company open to trials before a U.S. jury over liability and potentially enormous settlement costs.

In 2022, analysts at Morgan Stanley have estimated the potential amount of liability for the sector at $45 billion (£35.3 billion).

GSK has now taken the first steps to appeal the decision.

The company said today that it had “filed a request with the court to appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court for interlocutory review of the decision.” Its peers, Pfizer, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, all exposed to Zantac’s responsibilities, are parties to the request.

The company said it believes it is important to raise the issue in the higher court due to the “exceptional circumstances” of the decision.

The company’s press release adds: “The Superior Court’s decision is inconsistent with how the Daubert standard has been applied previously in Delaware and federal courts.

As such, there are now differing decisions interpreting how the Daubert standard should be applied to litigation in Delaware courts. The Superior Court’s decision would therefore have profound implications for all corporations and businesses incorporated in Delaware.

GSK added: “A decision on whether to grant interlocutory review and hear the appeal would be expected from the Delaware Supreme Court later this year. »

Furthermore, GSK welcomed on Monday the dismissal of the Zantac affair in Illinois, which was to begin on Monday.

Following 16 epidemiological studies involving human data regarding the use of ranitidine, the scientific consensus is that there is no consistent or reliable evidence that ranitidine increases the risk of cancer, GSK noted.