Pfizer and GSK were informed by Haleon that their requests for compensation regarding US-based litigation involving the heartburn drug Zantac had been denied, according to Haleon.
Allegations that Zantac includes a likely carcinogen have led to the filing of more than 2,000 legal cases in the US.
Zantac was first marketed by a company that predated GSK, and it has since been distributed by a number of companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Sanofi, and a large number of generic medication producers.
In August 2022, investors’ concerns over the likely outcome of the upcoming case caused billions to be wiped off the market value of Haleon, Sanofi, GSK, and Pfizer. Some of those losses have subsequently been recovered.
The businesses’ shareholders worry about a worst-case scenario in which costs reach billions of dollars, as was the case with Bayer’s glyphosate-based weed killer and Merck & Co.’s Vioxx painkiller.
Haleon clarified in August 2022 that it never advertised Zantac in any way in the United States, using either the GSK or Haleon consumer healthcare names.
On September 20, 2022, the company announced that it had rejected Pfizer’s and GSK’s requests for reimbursement on the grounds that the joint venture (JV) contract’s definition of those reimbursements only applied to their consumer healthcare businesses, as specified at the time the JV was formed in 2018.