On January 9, 2015, the Department of Justice announced that Daiichi Sankyo, a Japanese corporation who has its United States headquarters in New Jersey, was fined $39 million as a result of violating the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe drugs manufactured by Daiichi, including Benicar. Benicar is prescribed to treat hypertension and contains the active ingredient olmesartan.
In 2012, according to the Federal Drug Administration, 10.6 million prescriptions for Benicar were distributed to approximately 1.9 million patients. One side effect of olmesartan is villous atrophy. Villous atrophy causes the body not to absorb water and nutrients causing some Benicar users to be hospitalized for weeks or months. Unfortunately for the users of Benicar, neither they nor their physicians had any idea of the devastating side effect caused by Benicar.
Furthermore, as a result of not properly absorbing nutrient into the body for long periods of time, Benicar users can become severely dehydrated and malnourished resulting in kidney failure, hypovolemia, or hypokalemia. Patients suffering such side effects often will require IV fluids and nourishment administered to them directly into their bloodstream.
Within a few months after the Benicar users discontinue their medication, most will usually begin to absorb nutrients and water normally. However, some Benicar users do not fully recover and suffer permanent injuries.