Daiichi Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical holding company known for marketing, manufacturing, and selling pharmaceuticals for use by humans and animals, and for manufacturing medical equipment. Benicar, one of Daiichi Sankyo’s top selling high blood pressure medications, has made billions of dollars for the company over the last several years but has been criticized for causing serious gastrointestinal side-effects.
Located in Parsippany, New Jersey, Daiichi Sankyo-us is known for their research, development, and marketing of pharmaceutical products throughout the United States. Daiichi Sankyo was established within the United States after a merger of two 100-year-old Japanese pharmaceutical companies. The goal of the company continues to be that of a global pharmaceutical innovator which serves its customers with innovative technologies which enriche the lives of their customers throughout the world. Daiichi Sankyo claims they are able to meet their mission with “medical and scientific expertise, a collaborative and ethical culture, and a robust pipeline” which they hope will continue to help their patients.
Daiichi Sankyo specializes in a wide variety of products including medications which treat hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia/atherosclerosis. One of their greatest achievements was the discovery of epinephrine or adrenaline in 1889. Their therapeutic innovations continued with the development of the statin class of lipid-lowering agents as well as medications which help control type 2 diabetes.
Benicar, which is a popular medication used to treat high blood pressure, has been linked to an intestinal condition known as sprue-like enteropathy. Several months after the FDA announced warnings about the high blood pressure medication the first products liability claim was filed in New Jersey by a widow who claimed her husband had developed an intestinal disease and died while using Benicar. The widow claims her husband lost weight due to his uncontrollable diarrhea.
Claimants who have filed lawsuits against the company argue the company did not adequately warn them of the dangers of using the product or of the risk of developing the serious intestinal condition. Claimants also allege the company may have known about the risk much earlier than reported.
Established in 2005, Daiichi Sankyo was formed from the merger of Sankyo Company, Limited and Daiichi Pharmaceutical Company, both well-known and prosperous pharmaceutical companies based in Japan. Currently the company’s products are sold in more than 54 counties worldwide and are helping patients with a variety of diseases and conditions including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and bacterial infections. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., started their operations in the United States in 2006 as the U.S subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo, Co., LTD. Some of the most popular medications manufactured and sold by this pharmaceutical giant include Benicar, Mevalotin, Loxonin, Hirudoid, Olmetec, Captopril, WelChol, Effient, and Panipenem.
Olmesartan medoxomil is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. It is currently marketed in the United States under the brand name Benicar and is used to treat high blood pressure. It was developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical giant Daiichi Sankyo. Although the drug has made the company billions of dollars, it is set to lose its patent in 2016. Currently there are dozens of lawsuits pending against Daiichi Sankyo for Benicar, a medication which potentially increases the risk of developing an intestinal condition known as sprue-like enteropathy. Daiichi Sankyo manufacturers Benicar to be used alone or in conjunction with other high blood pressure medications. Although the FDA required Daiichi Sankyo to include warnings on its labels about the potential risks of using the medication, they have not required the drug to be pulled from market. The FDA also continues to suggest the benefits of the medication for most patients outweighs its potential risks.
Daiichi Sankyo is facing possible financial challenges as the patent for their popular drug Benicar expires. Benicar continues to bring in about 27 percent of annual revenue for Daiichi Sankyo. Daiichi Sankyo admits that finding new ways to increase their earnings is critical for the company. In fact, the company has started looking for new companies and other opportunities to increase sales in the United States ahead of the patent loss.