AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a multinational pharmaceutical company based in the UK. AstraZeneca is currently focused on cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal disease, respiratory and immune function, and cancer treatment. The company manufactures big-sellers like diabetes medications Farxiga, Byetta and Bydureon and Ulcer medications Prilosec and Nexium which have been accused of causing serious drug injuries.

free case evaluation
Jump to topic
  • About AstraZeneca
  • AstraZeneca History
  • AstraZeneca Products
  • AstraZeneca Lawsuits
  • Prilosec and Nexium Lawsuits
  • Byetta and Bydureon Lawsuits
  • Seroquel and Crestor Lawsuits

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a UK-based pharmaceutical manufacturer and s currently constituted, is the result of over 100 years of pharmaceutical company mergers and is the 10th largest pharma company in the world. AZ annual revenue is estimated at $25 billion annually.

The company is focused in certain therapeutic areas including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Renal disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Immunology
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Cancer
  • Other illnesses

AstraZeneca has had a number of blockbuster medications including:

  • Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
  • Onglyza (saxagliptin)
  • Zestril (lisinopril)
  • Byetta and Bydureon (exenatide)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Zomig (zolmitriptan)
  • Prilosec (omeprazole)
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)

Some of these medications may have caused serious drug injuries and the company may be facing lawsuits for those injuries.

AstraZeneca History

Four British companies, all established between 1870 and 1919, underwent a merger in 1926 to become ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries). Separately, Astra AB was founded in Sweden in 1913 as an international group focused on gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiovascular and pain control products.

In 1993, ICI split off its chemical and pharmaceutical business, producing Zeneca, a London-based bioscience and pharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system, heart and anesthesia–as well as special chemicals and healthcare provision.

In 1999, Astra and Zeneca group merged to form AstraZeneca plc (AZ) with headquarters in London, UK and established U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. In 2005, AZ acquired UK biotech company, KuDOS, followed by the acquisition of Cambridge Antibody Technology in 2006. Additional acquisitions would follow with Arrow Therapeutics (2007), Medimmune (2007), Novexel Corp. (2010), Guangdong BeiKang Pharmaceutical Company (2011), Ardea Biosciences (2012).

Also, in 2012, AZ and Bristol-Myers Squibb formed a joint venture to acquire Amylin Pharmaceuticals, a diabetes-focused company. In 2013, the company announced a corporate restructuring, moving headquarters to Cambridge, UK and focusing on Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmune disorders, Cardiovascular & Metabolic diseases, and Oncology, and later the same year, acquired oncology biotech firm, Spirogen.

In 2014, AstraZeneca rejected an offer from pharma giant Pfizer to purchase the company, which would have resulted in the largest worldwide pharma company and the biggest takeover of a British company by a foreign firm. The purchase was widely panned in the UK.

AstraZeneca, in 2015, partnered with Actavis for its respiratory medications, with Orca Pharmaceuticals for development of autoimmune treatments, with Daiichi Sankyo to commercialize naloxegol, and with Celgene for cancer treatments. They also sold off rights to a number of drugs but acquired rights to others including immunotherapy, cancer treatment and respiratory medications.

In 2019, the company announced that they would spin off several experimental drugs into a new biotech-focused company, Viela Bio but would again work with Diaiichi in new oncology drugs.

AstraZeneca Products

AstraZeneca is currently focused on pharmaceutical products in therapeutic areas of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, respiratory and immunologic disorders and oncology.

AstraZeneca has had a number of blockbuster medications including:

  • Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
  • Onglyza (saxagliptin)
  • Zestril (lisinopril)
  • Byetta and Bydureon (exenatide)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Zomig (zolmitriptan)
  • Prilosec (omeprazole)
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)

Some of these medications may have caused serious drug injuries and the company may be facing lawsuits for those injuries.

AstraZeneca Lawsuits

AstraZeneca has faced a number of lawsuits for drug injuries and class action lawsuits regarding medications such as the anti-ulcer, gastroesophageal medications Prilosec and Nexium in the Proton-pump inhibitor class of medications.

The company has also faced accusations of improper or illegal marketing activities, including lawsuits by the U.S. Department of Justice for marketing of Byetta, Seroquel, and Crestor.

Prilosec and Nexium Lawsuits

Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications, Prilosec (omeprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole), along with a similar drug, Prevacid may have caused thousands of injuries including birth defects, heart attacks, kidney failure and bone fractures. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued multiple warnings about the use of PPIs, particularly in long-term use or use not monitored buy a physician.

The PPIs were approved as over-the-counter (OTC) medications because they were believed to be safe enough for use without a doctor’s prescription. Safety concerns about Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI use have continued to occur but the medications are still in use, both as prescriptions and over-the-counter. AstraZeneca has faced a number of lawsuits due to injuries and birth defects related to the Prilosec and Nexium.

Separately, the company was accused of improper practice in manipulating consumers when Prilosec’s patent was set to expire. Nexium was introduced at nearly the same time, and the company was accused of manipulative marketing, improperly encouraging patients to switch to Nexium. AstraZeneca ultimately paid $20 million to settle a class-action lawsuit.

Byetta and Bydureon Lawsuits

Byetta (exenatide) is an incretin mimetic that was discovered and is formulated from an enzyme found in the saliva of the Gila Monster and is used as a daily injection to treat Type 2 diabetes. It was developed by Eli Lilly and later sold to Amylin Pharmaceuticals, who was acquired by AstraZeneca. Bydureon is a longer acting form of exenatide.

The companies involved in Byetta and Bydureon manufacturing and marketing, Eli Lilly, Amylin and AstraZeneca were accused of misleading the public and healthcare providers about the safety Byetta which has been linked to pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and other disorders.

AstraZeneca, Amylin and Eli Lilly have all been named in a number of drug injury lawsuits regarding Byetta and Bydureon.

Seroquel and Crestor Lawsuits

In 2010, AstraZeneca paid about $520 million to settle a lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for improper marketing. They were accused of promoting Seroquel (quetiapine) for “off-label” use, for uses that have not been approved by the FDA. The company has spent about $1.9 billion to defend and settle Seroquel lawsuits with federal, state and local agencies due to illegal marketing and improper use of kickback payments.

Similar charges were made against AstraZeneca regarding Crestor (rosuvastatin). The company reportedly paid $110 million to settle whistleblower lawsuits in Texas for improper actions involving the Texas Medicaid system.

Have you been affected by a drug or device listed?