Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Multinational pharmaceutical maker AstraZeneca said Tuesday it will pay $425 million to settle lawsuits from people who experienced kidney damage from the company's heartburn medications Nexium and Prilosec.
In a statement, the U.K.-based drugmaker and biotech company said the terms of the settlements are confidential and the company continues to "believe these claims are without merit and admits no wrongdoing" in the matter.
According to AstraZeneca, the agreements resolve the product liability claims that are currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, as well as in the Delaware Superior Court and the New Jersey Superior Court.
"These settlements avoid continued costly litigation and allow the company to move forward with its purpose of delivering life changing medicines to millions of patients around the world," the company said.
AstraZeneca said a single case remains pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, and that a trial is scheduled in that case for April 2024.
Nexium and Prilosec are prescription-only drugs used to treat acid-related symptoms and diseases. According to AstraZeneca, the medications work by binding to and inhibiting the acid pumps of particular types of cells in the lining the stomach wall to stop the production of stomach acid.
Recent studies have warned that the long-term use of acid reflux medications -- called proton pump inhibitors -- carry some risks and may even increase the risk of dementia, according to one particular study published this year.
In 2021, a study presented during a American Society of Nephrology meeting found that adults undergoing heart surgery who take heartburn medication before the procedure are more likely to develop acute kidney injury and to die during hospitalization.