Lipitor® and Diabetes
Liptor (atorvastatin), the best selling prescription drug in history, generating over $131 billion during it’s lifetime, has come under increased scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the courts, for side effects, which, it is alleged that drug manufacturer, Pfizer, Inc. knew about but didn’t properly disclose to doctors and patients.
Lipitor is a statin, which is a class of drugs which works with the liver to reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the body. It especially reduces the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as “bad cholesterol.”
Nevada Lipitor Attorney
Pfizer has had knowledge of the links between Lipitor and diabetes for years prior to providing any warning, since they have access to the same clinical data that the FDA and others have published. Despite the research, Pfizer continues to provide misleading information, and has failed to adequately warn doctors and patients of the risks. Profits appear to be more important to Pfizer than consumer safety.
The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm is interested in assisting those who have been affected by the side effects of Lipitor. If you have taken the product Lipitor, and after beginning treatment, developed Type II Diabetes, please call our office to schedule a consultation, at (702) 444-4444, or fill out our Free Consultation Form.
The drug was introduced in 1996 in the U.S. to strong sales. Marketing made people aware of their cholesterol levels, and this preparation filled the need to reduce their levels to an acceptable level. While other statins have been released by other manufacturers since then, Lipitor has led this market since its introduction.
In 2010, the medical journal The Lancet, published a study which reviewed some adverse side effects of statins, including Lipitor. The study of over 90,000 patients who took statins, showed an increased likelihood of 9%, of developing Type II, or adult onset diabetes.
In April of 2011, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), found that those taking specifically Lipitor, were at greater risk of developing diabetes. An additional study released in 2011, in the European medical journal, Atherosclerosis, found generally the same results, indicating that patients who take statins have an increased risk of Type II diabetes.
In 2012, the Journal of the American Medical Association-Internal Medicine (JAMA), published results of a study which found that post-menopausal women using statins faced a considerably higher risk of developing Type II diabetes. This study reviewed 161,000 women between 50-79 year old, and found that statin users were 50% more likely to develop diabetes than those who did not.
Within a month of the JAMA study being published, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Safety Notification regarding statin use and required that the warning labels of statins include warnings of increased diabetes risks when taking the drugs. The warnings adopted by Pfizer in 2012, are designed to not be read, and if read, not understood. It states: “Increase in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including Lipitor.” Nowhere is there a simple statement that use of Lipitor increases your likelihood of developing Type II diabetes.
A Nevada woman, Doris Bosma, who had been in good health prior to taking Lipitor, began Lipitor treatment in 2000, and took the drug for several years. She was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003. The case contends that Bosma and her doctor relied on claims made by Pfizer that the drug reduced the risk of heart disease, and was generally safe and effective.
Due to the diabetes, she is now at a higher risk of heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney disease. She filed suit against Pfizer in federal court, in February 2014. She now is required to regularly check her blood glucose levels, must confine herself to a restrictive diet, and take additional medications to treat the diabetes.
There are now approximately 500 cases in federal courts against Pfizer regarding Lipitor, which have now been consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL – see our article regarding MDL’s here), under the direction of Judge Richard Gergel in the District of South Carolina.
Plaintiffs in these cases claim that Pfizer has known about the link between Lipitor and diabetes, but have withheld the information in order to promote sales of this product which has made hundreds of billions of dollars for Pfizer. Trials of the first cases, or bellwether cases as they are known, should begin in July 2015. At this point, the product is still on the market, and Pfizer expects about $3 billion in sales in 2015.
Never stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.
Lipitor is a registered trademarks of Pfizer, Inc. and is used here only for the purpose of identifying the product in question. This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or Pfizer, Inc.