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Pharma companies see sales slump amid ongoing Zantac litigation

Yahoo Finance health care reporter Anjalee Khemlani looks at which pharmaceutical stocks are being affected by litigation surrounding alleged carcinogenic materials in Zantac derivatives.

Video transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: All right, well, pharma stocks took a hit this week over fear of litigation charges focused on heartburn drug Zantac. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani has the details on that. Hi, Anjalee.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Hey, Rachelle. Yes, as you mentioned, Zantac, commonly known as ranitidine, is under some concern right now over possibly up to billions of dollars in litigation. We've got more than 3,000 lawsuits against this drug after concerns of a carcinogen came out in 2018.

It was then taken off the shelves by the FDA in 2020. Subsequently, though, the FDA did say in a statement, quote, "the combined findings from their in-house clinical trial and in vitro experiments do not support the conclusion that ranitidine is converted to this carcinogen in humans." So there has been scientific support against that. We also know that the makers, GSK, which did spin off the drug into its consumer department highly on, that is really the focus of the market right now.

But there's no new development in this report. It is just a matter of one of the trials of those 3,000 beginning later this month and starting to get, really, attention from investors and the media as a result of that. We've seen some pharma companies really get hit in billions of dollars in recent years. So that's where some of the focus is right now.