Drugmaker settles US Zantac cancer case

British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline said Friday it has settled a US lawsuit which had alleged heartburn drug Zantac caused cancer, but admitted no liability.

GSK “has reached a confidential settlement with James Goetz, and the case he filed in California state court… will be dismissed”, it said in a statement.

“The settlement reflects the company’s desire to avoid distraction related to protracted litigation in this case.” The court case had been due to start in one month.

“GSK does not admit any liability in this settlement and will continue to vigorously defend itself based on the facts and the science in all other Zantac cases,” the company added.

Over-the-counter drug Zantac, whose active ingredient is ranitidine, has also been manufactured by French peer Sanofi.

Zantac has been removed from the North American market.

Last year, GSK revealed it was facing about 3,000 individual and class-action lawsuits over Zantac in the United States, with proceedings underway in Canada and Israel.

Friday’s news sent GSK’s share price rallying six percent to £14.40 on London’s top-tier FTSE 100 index, which was down overall in midday deals. — Agence France-Presse

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