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Drugmakers' shares up after Zantac lawsuit slump

STORY: Shares in major drugmakers started to recover Friday (August 12).

It comes after GSK, Haleon, Sanofi and Pfizer said nothing material had changed regarding U.S. litigation focused on heartburn drug Zantac.

The companies’ share price had fallen sharply this week.

Investors were worried about lawsuits over potential cancer-causing impurities that led to the drug’s withdrawal from markets in 2019 and 2020.

Analysts have said more than 2,000 Zantac-related legal cases have been filed in the U.S.

The four drugmakers lost a combined $39 billion in market value over the past week.

GSK was hardest hit, dropping 16% by Thursday (August 11).

Zantac was originally marketed by one of its forerunner companies.

The drug has been sold by several firms since the loss of patent exclusivity in the late 1990s.

Investors fear the costs of any litigation could run into billions of dollars.

On Friday, shares in all four companies had recovered some ground, with GSK up around 5%.