The number of drug injury lawsuits against Pfizer Inc. over its Lipitor medication continues to rise. Court documents indicate that in U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, where federal multidistrict litigation is taking place, at least 2,185 Lipitor cases are pending.
In their Lipitor lawsuits, the plaintiffs contend that the drug company did not warn that the statin medication could up the risk of Type 2 A diabetes. It wasn’t until 2012 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that all statin labels would have to be modified to include this information. Even then, claim the plaintiffs, Lipitor’s modified labels failed to warn patients about the connection between diabetes and the medication.
Statins are a category of drug that obstructs the liver’s production of cholesterol. This is supposed to lower the risk of heart disease.
The plaintiffs are primarily women, who are at higher risk than men of developing diabetes from taking Lipitor, which is the number one prescription drug of all time. In the United States alone, over 29 million people have been prescribed the medication since it went on the market in 1996.
Pfizer maintains that Lipitor was not the reason that the plaintiffs developed diabetes and that they may already have been at risk of that disease because of other conditions, such as diabetes and obesity. The first Lipitor injury trial is scheduled for next July.
Among the reasons cited for filing a drug defect case over Lipitor:
- Inadequate warnings about the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Misrepresentations by Pfizer that Lipitor was effective and safe.
- No warning on Lipitor’s label prior to 2012 that Lipitor could cause Type 2 diabetes or affect blood sugar levels.
- Failure to properly warn of the diabetes risk on the drug’s label, even after the FDA’s edict to include that information.
Studies have found a link between Lipitor and Type 2 diabetes. In 2013, researchers said that patients who take Lipitor have a 22% greater chance of developing the drug compared to patients taking Pravachol, which also is supposed to lower cholesterol.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can cause a patient’s glucose (sugar) levels to rise above normal. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and involves the body failing to use insulin properly.
Living with diabetes usually changes in lifestyle as patients work to keep their sugar levels as regulated as possible. Long-term complications, especially if diabetes isn’t properly treated, can result, including cardiovascular disease, heart attack, eye disease, vision loss, macular edema, kidney disease, and neuropathy.
Please contact our Boston drug defect lawyers to find out if you have grounds for filing a Massachusetts Lipitor lawsuit. Altman & Altman LLP represents clients who took Lipitor prior to 2012. Your initial case consultation with our law firm is free.
Lipitor injury lawsuits against Pfizer blame the drug for diabetes, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, January 9, 2015
Family sues Walgreens, Abbott Laboratories for Wrongful Death involving erroneous diabetic test strips, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 9, 2015
Employees injured because of workplace violence may be entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer blog, April 7, 2015