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Haleon scraps Zantac reimbursement request from Pfizer, GSK


Haleon scraps Zantac reimbursement request from Pfizer, GSK

Haleon said it had notified Pfizer and GSK that it had rejected their requests for reimbursement concerning US-based litigation over the heartburn medication, Zantac.

Over 2,000 legal cases related to Zantac have been filed in the United States over allegations that the compound contains a probable carcinogen.

Originally marketed by a forerunner of GSK, Zantac has been sold by several firms at different times, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Sanofi, and a plethora of generic drug makers.

Haleon—alongside Sanofi, GSK, and Pfizer—saw billions wiped off their market value in August 2022 as uncertainty around the outcome of the impending litigation triggered investor concern, although some of those losses have been since trimmed back.

The shareholders of the companies fear a worst-case scenario where costs run into billions of dollars, as happened in cases involving Bayer’s glyphosate-based weed killer and Merck & Co’s painkiller Vioxx.

However, in August 2022, Haleon clarified that it never marketed Zantac in any form in the United States, either as GSK or as Haleon consumer healthcare.

On 20 September 2022, the firm said it had rejected the reimbursement requests from Pfizer and GSK on the basis that the scope of the reimbursements set out in the joint venture (JV) contract only covers their consumer healthcare businesses as directed when the JV was formed in 2018.

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