FDA Orders Zantac Taken Off Store Shelves Due to Cancer-Causing Chemical

FDA orders Zantac taken off store shelves due to cancer causing chemical

Zantac is a prescription drug used to treat pain from arthritis, back problems, and other conditions. It was recalled earlier this month after it was found that it contained the carcinogen ranitidine. The company responsible for making the drug has been ordered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove all products containing ranitidine from stores nationwide.

The drug maker, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), will have until August 1st to stop selling the product or face fines of up to $37 million. If they fail to comply with the order, J&J could be subjecting itself to criminal prosecution. According to Reuters:

“If there are no corrective actions taken within 30 days, then the agency may take further action,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told reporters at a news conference. “We would hope that if there are any such corrective actions, they would be taken quickly.”

While the FDA’s decision is certainly a blow to JNJ, the company isn’t going down without a fight. They’ve already filed suit against the FDA in federal court in New Jersey. In their complaint, JNJ claims that the FDA made false statements and failed to provide adequate scientific evidence before issuing its order.

The company also says that it plans to appeal the ruling.

Zantac was a billion dollar drug for JNJ before it was pulled from the market. If they can’t get it back on shelves soon, it’s not going to be good for business.

The fallout from this recall will be far-reaching. Several other pharmaceutical companies use ranitidine as an ingredient in their own products. It’s likely that these companies will suffer shortages of some of their own medications.

Zantac is a popular brand name for the generic drug ranitidine. Ranitidine is used to treat conditions that cause the stomach to produce too much acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It is also used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), prevent ulcers from forming in people who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and help heal stomach ulcers.

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