Rotten Apple in the Basket

The need to control high-blood pressure is such a fairly common medical intervention that many people don’t take it as seriously as they should. The fact is, hypertension can lead to more serious and acute medical conditions that can be prevented if the hypertension is controlled. More than 60 million people over 20 in the US have hypertension, and that’s a hefty 30% or more of the population; more importantly, hypertension is believed to be the primary cause of death of 1,000 people every day. Obviously, hypertension has to be managed, and this can be done with a combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and medication

Angiotensin II receptor antagonists or blockers (ARBs) is one class of drugs that physicians have found to be efficacious for patients who are intolerant of the more traditional angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. ARBs, while sharing many of the side effects of ACE inhibitors, are not productive of the persistent dry cough and hives (angioedema) associated with ACE inhibitors. According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, one brand of ARB that has been particularly popular in the US when it was introduced into the market in 2002 is Benicar (olmesartan).

Produced by Japanese drug company Daiichi Sankyo, Benicar was touted by the manufacturer as the safer and more effective hypertension therapy than any others, and for quite a while it seemed to be true. There has been no reason to believe that ARBs could pose serious health risks to patients cleared for the medication (which is contraindicated for pregnant women and those with biliary obstruction).

In 2012, the Mayo Clinic reported to the Food and Drug Administration that 22 of its patients with unexplained gastrointestinal problems were taking Benicar, which indicated some causative link. This was not expected, as this was only observed with Benicar and not other ARBs such as Valsartan, Telmisartan, and Losartan. As it is turning out, Benicar and other olmesartan preparations alone cause these serious intestinal complications.

Daiichi Sankyo has been brought to book in civil court for failing to thoroughly test their product before marketing it and failing to warn. If you have been adversely affected by using Benicar, you, too may be able to file a case against the drug maker. Find a reputable dangerous drugs lawyer in your area to look over your claim.