Lipitor Lawsuits Claim Drug Causes Diabetes, Seek Damages for Suffering
The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are actively filing lawsuits on behalf of women who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after using Lipitor. Several studies have linked Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to an increased risk of diabetes, particularly in middle-aged and older women. Our attorneys believe that the maker of Lipitor, Pfizer, Inc., failed to properly warn consumers of this risk and is therefore legally responsible for the medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages of women who developed diabetes as a result of taking Lipitor.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after using Lipitor, you may be able to sue the drug’s manufacturer and recover compensation for your injuries. If you have questions about your legal rights or would like more information on filing a lawsuit, complete our free case review form today. The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are offering this online consultation with no cost and no obligation.
Why Are Lawsuits Being Filed?
Typically, lawsuits involving pharmaceuticals allege that a drug is unreasonably dangerous and/or that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings for side effects associated with the drug. Women filing lawsuits against Pfizer allege:
- Patients and doctors were not adequately warned about the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with use of Lipitor
- Pfizer promoted Lipitor as safe and effective, despite knowing that it could elevate blood sugar levels and/or cause Type 2 diabetes
- Lipitor’s label never carried a warning that it could cause changes in blood sugar levels and/or Type 2 diabetes until the FDA requested a label change in February 2012
- Even after the label change, Lipitor’s label still does not adequately warn patients about the risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Patients who developed diabetes due to Lipitor use now have to undergo regular testing of their blood glucose levels, adhere to a strict diets and take medication for the remainder of their lives and are at an increased risk for kidney disease, blindness, heart disease and other complications of diabetes
These lawsuits are seeking to reimburse patients for physical and emotional suffering, and the cost of past and future medical care.
Is This a Class Action?
This is not a class action lawsuit. Our attorneys are helping women who have used Lipitor and developed Type 2 diabetes file individual lawsuits to recover compensation for their specific injuries.
To help conserve judicial resources and ensure a consistent and efficient resolution to the growing litigation, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been formed to handle these lawsuits. This means that all federally-filed lawsuits, as well as any future cases filed in federal courts, will be transferred to the U.S. District Court District of South Carolina to be overseen by the Honorable Judge Richard M. Gergel. Judge Gergel will manage the lawsuits and oversee the pretrial and discovery process, which includes taking witness testimony and reviewing relevant documents. While one judge is overseeing the litigation, each plaintiff will retain his or her own lawsuit, attorney and right to an individual award.
How is Lipitor Causing Diabetes?
Several studies have uncovered a link between Lipitor and Type 2 diabetes, a life-long condition that causes a patient to develop high blood sugar levels. To understand the potential link between Lipitor and Type 2 diabetes, it is important to understand the science behind the disease.
In the body, food is broken down into sugar (glucose), which travels through the bloodstream. In a normal patient, the pancreas will release insulin in response to a meal to reduce blood sugar levels and allow glucose to enter the body’s cells, providing them with the energy needed to function. Patients with Type 2 diabetes, however, cannot produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin well enough. As a result, glucose cannot enter the body’s cells and instead builds up in the blood, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. High levels of sugar in the blood can result in a number of serious health problems, including organ damage and heart attack.
Researchers suspect that Lipitor can inhibit the function of the pancreatic cells responsible for storing and releasing insulin, and may also decrease the body’s sensitivity to the hormone.
Studies on Lipitor Highlight Diabetes Risk for Women, Statin Users
Patients on a high-dose Lipitor regimen may have an increased risk of developing diabetes
A number of studies have linked use of Lipitor and cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins to diabetes. In 2013, researchers in Canada found that patients taking Lipitor had a 22 percent increased risk of developing diabetes compared to those taking Pravachol, another drug used to lower cholesterol. Two years earlier, a study based on data from three large clinical trials also suggested that patients on a high-dose Lipitor regimen may have an increased risk of developing diabetes, especially if they have other risk factors for the disease. The trial included nearly 4,000 adults who did not have diabetes, but had a history of stroke. It is believed that women, including those with a healthy body mass index (BMI), are at the highest risk of developing diabetes from statin use.
FDA Warning Highlights Increased Diabetes Risk
In February 2012, the FDA released a statement on Lipitor and statins. The agency warned that patients taking these drugs may have an increased risk of developing high blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes, and announced that changes will be made to the drugs’ labeling to reflect this concern. According to an FDA spokesperson, prescribing doctors should assess patients’ blood sugar levels after they have started treatment with Lipitor or another statin.
The FDA warning also commented on the potential risk for liver injury, memory loss and muscle damage; however, the current litigation surrounding Lipitor pertains only to the manufacturer’s alleged failure to warn about the type 2 diabetes risk.
At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have been assigned leadership roles in some of the largest defective drug litigations across the country and have recovered millions on behalf of injured patients. We believe that the maker of Lipitor put profits before patient safety and are committed to helping patients recover the compensation they deserve. For more information on how we may be able to help, do not hesitate to contact us today. There is no cost or obligation.