GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the UK's biggest pharmaceutical company, today said that it will remove zinc from all of its denture adhesive products, bowing to consumer reports that said zinc in the creams cause neurological damage as well as other problems due to excessive long term use of the denture adhesives.
The pharmaceutical giant, the maker of popular denture adhesives Poligrip and Super Poligrip, has added the potentially hazardous mineral to its adhesives for decades, despite overwhelming evidence that consuming large quantities of zinc over an extended period of time can cause serious neurological damage, said the Houston-Texas-based pharmaceutical litigation firm, Blizzard, McCarthy and Nabers.
Blizzard, McCarthy and Nabers, which represents dozens of consumers said to have suffered poisoning by denture cream zinc, welcomed the announcement and its lead attorney Ed Blizzard said in a statement, "Representing dozens of patients poisoned by zinc in denture cream, we have seen the damage wrought by this toxin. Today's announcement is a responsible action for GSK to take and a victory for consumers. Unfortunately, it comes far too late for the hundreds - if not thousands - of people who have been crippled by zinc poisoning.''
"While we applaud the efforts of GlaxoSmithKline to make their products safer, the reality is, it should have removed zinc from its adhesives years ago, he added."
Currently, about 70 lawsuits have been filed in Miami's Multi-District Litigation against both GlaxoSmithKline and Proctor & Gamble, makers of denture adhesive containing zinc. And at least 20 other mass tort claims have been filed in Philadelphia, where GlaxoSmithKline's headquarters are located.
Zinc poisoning symptoms include poor balance, a tingling sensation, and pain in the extremities. Weakness and numbness can also be signs of toxic zinc levels.
Over the last two years, three separate scientific studies have reported a direct connection between the use of zinc-laden denture adhesives and serious neurological disorders such as neuropathy.
GlaxoSmithKline has announced that it will voluntarily remove zinc from all of its denture cream products, including Poligrip and Super Poligrip. GSK will end the manufacture and supply of its zinc-containing denture adhesives and transition to zinc-free versions of these products.