Lipitor And Diabetes Guidelines: Who Should And Shouldn’t Be Taking Lipitor?
Written by Stephen Fields on April 24, 2015
It’s becoming more difficult to know whether you should take – or continue taking – Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor. The drug definitely reduces LDL cholesterol levels. But there’s less evidence than imagined supporting the assumption that doing so dramatically lowers the risk of fatal heart attack. Moreover, there is increasing evidence of a potentially causal relationship between use of Lipitor and diabetes in women.
Several studies have shown that individuals taking drugs like Lipitor (known as statins) may be more likely to experience elevated blood sugar levels than non-users. They’re also more likely to suffer diminished insulin sensitivity and reduced insulin secretion from the pancreas. The result? Many users may develop new-onset type 2 diabetes.
Pfizer is being sued by thousands of women who allege its cholesterol medication caused them to become diabetic. Now faced with a lifelong disease that imposes an increased risk of serious health complications, they’re seeking fair compensation for their injuries. The litigation targeting the pharmaceutical giant has grown from a few hundred cases one year ago to more than 2,000 cases. Many more are expected to be filed this year.
If your doctor diagnosed you with diabetes after you had taken Pfizer’s cholesterol medication, please call us at 1-888-210-9968. You may be eligible to file a Lipitor side effects lawsuit for compensation.
Latest Heart Guidelines Put 13 Million More People On Statins
In 2013, doctors were informed of new cholesterol guidelines affecting the manner in which statins should be prescribed. The guidelines were created by panel members of the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC).
Traditionally, doctors have prescribed Lipitor and other statins to patients who showed high cholesterol levels. Therapy continued until certain LDL (low-density lipoprotein) targets were met. Once a patient’s LDL numbers became consistent with “normal” levels, therapy was stopped.
The 2013 AHA/ACC guidelines discarded that treatment protocol. Doctors are now encouraged to prescribe statins to patients who meet one of four criteria. Together, those four criteria make an additional 13 million people eligible for treatment.1
Also noteworthy, the AHA and ACC no longer advise using LDL targets as a tool for determining when statin therapy should end. On the contrary, their guidelines ensure that millions of people will continue taking the drugs for the remainder of their lives.
It’s worth noting that nearly one-half of the AHA/ACC panel members who helped created the latest recommendations have worked for the drug companies that manufacture statins.2 That seeming conflict of interest is particularly alarming given the side effects associated with the drugs.
Guidelines Grossly Exaggerate The Risk Of Heart Disease
If the AHA/ACC guidelines accurately reflected the risk of cardiovascular disease, they would be easier to accept. But the formulas used to determine that risk have proven to be woefully inaccurate. Several analyses have found that the risk calculators used by the organizations exaggerated the danger.
A recent Medscape article revealed that the risk of heart disease is overestimated by 86% in men and 67% in women.3 Those numbers are significant. New research shows that statin therapy may be associated with a number of adverse effects, including type 2 diabetes and coronary artery calcification. Patients must therefore weigh the heart benefits of taking statins against the potential health consequences. They can only make informed decisions if they have accurate data.
Dr. Steven Nissen, renowned cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, criticized the guidelines in a commentary written for the journal JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014. He noted the following:
“This is not a trivial problem. While statins are valuable drugs, particularly in secondary prevention, they do have downsides, and prudence requires not administering drugs to patients who will likely not benefit. The implications of the overestimation of risk are profound.”4
Lipitor Claims Over Diabetes Side Effects Are Being Reviewed
The 2,000+ Lipitor lawsuits currently pending against Pfizer over its role in manufacturing and promoting Lipitor involves the drug’s connection to type 2 diabetes. Thousands of women have reported developing the illness after taking the drug. They claim Pfizer failed to sufficiently warn them about the risk while reaping billions of dollars in Lipitor sales each year.
If you or someone you love took Lipitor and were later diagnosed with diabetes, call 1-888-210-9968 for a free case review. You may be entitled to receive compensation.
There is no obligation to hire our firm or file a lawsuit. Our Lipitor diabetes settlement lawyers are here to listen and help you understand your legal options. If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, there are no legal fees unless we recover compensation for your case.
There is limited time to file a Lipitor Diabetes claim. Don’t allow the filing deadline in your state to pass without taking action. Call our offices at your earliest convenience to receive answers to your questions about filing a Lipitor injury lawsuit.
1. About 12.8 million more adults eligible for discussions with their physicians to determine if statins are appropriate treatment
2. 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults (pages 28-31)
3. Another Study Shows ACC/AHA Risk Calculator Overestimates CVD Events
4. Prevention Guidelines Bad Process, Bad Outcome