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Lipitor and Diabetes Lawsuit Frequently Asked Questions

Written by on June 17, 2014
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A recent report released by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) notes that more than 1,450 Lipitor and diabetes lawsuit claims have been filed against Pfizer. Plaintiffs claim they started taking Lipitor to control their cholesterol levels. Although the drug was usually effective, patients have reported Lipitor triggered an unexpected side effect: Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes can severely hamper a person’s quality of life. Left unchecked, it can cause nerve damage, eye problems, and other serious complications. Individuals who have been diagnosed with the disease after using Lipitor are understandably angry that Pfizer failed to warn them about the potential risk. Thousands of women are now seeking a Lipitor lawsuit settlement through the courts.

If you or a loved one is struggling with this life-changing illness and believe it was caused by Lipitor, you likely have questions. We’ll try to provide some of the answers below. To fully discuss your case and find out whether you’re eligible to receive compensation from Pfizer, call 1-888-578-4755 and speak with our Lipitor attorneys.

On Filing A Lipitor and Diabetes Lawsuit: Answers To Most Common Questions

Why Is Lipitor Prescribed To Patients?

Lipitor is prescribed to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It accomplishes that goal by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver known as HMG-CoA reductase. Blocking the enzyme lowers the production of cholesterol in the liver, which in turn is believed to lower the patient’s exposure to cardiovascular problems.

However, doctors and scientists are beginning to question whether lowering cholesterol actually reduces the risk of heart disease. The original study which demonstrated the correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease showed 6 countries that modeled the theory perfectly. Unfortunately, it left out 16 countries which didn’t fit the mold.

Researchers in the highly respected Framingham study reviewed the effects of cholesterol on heart disease, but were amazed to find the people who had the highest cholesterol lived the longest, weighed less and were the most active.

This led one of the researchers to write a scathing review about the diet-heart hypothesis, saying that people had been misled “by the greatest scientific deception of our times, the notion that animal fat causes heart disease”.

Why Are Women Filing Lipitor Lawsuit Claims?

Thousands of Lipitor diabetes lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer, claiming its blockbuster medication introduces an increased risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes. The lawsuits filed by women who used Lipitor and were later diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (Lipitor MDL 2502) in early 2014.

Unfortunately, the current litigation does not include men. The scientific community is still trying to understand why women are affected differently by the cholesterol-lowering medication than men. The risk of type 2 diabetes side effects from taking statins like Lipitor has been reported for postmenopausal woman at nearly 50% greater risk than women not taking statins.

Prescription medications commonly cause side effects. Manufacturers have a responsibility to warn the public about them. Research into the Lipitor diabetes connection is the basis for the growing litigation against Pfizer, which alleges the company neglected to adequately warn women about a potential risk that they might become diabetic. Some plaintiffs have accused Pfizer of purposely hiding the risk from the public.

Is There Evidence That Lipitor Causes Diabetes?

Observational data from numerous studies dating back to 1994 consistently show that select groups taking atorvastatin are at a higher-than-average risk of developing the disease.

For example, a 2011 study appearing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examined data from 3 separate trials involving Lipitor. The authors showed that Lipitor users in all 3 studies developed diabetes at a higher rate compared to individuals given a placebo and individuals given a different statin (simvastatin).

Other studies published in The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, and JAMA Internal Medicine have shown similar results, leading researchers to believe that there may be an increased risk of Lipitor causing diabetes, especially in women.

Why Didn’t Pfizer Warn The Public About The Danger?

Since 1996, atorvastatin has generated more than $130 billion in revenue for Pfizer. It’s safe to assume that disclosing a possible link between Lipitor and diabetes would have negatively affected sales. Many plaintiffs have openly speculated that Pfizer concealed the danger in order to protect its revenue stream.

Does The FDA Know About The Link Between Lipitor And Diabetes?

The FDA issued a public news release in 2012 announcing that some patients had reported high blood sugar levels and new-onset type 2 diabetes after using drugs like Lipitor. The agency noted that it would oversee safety labeling changes on the drugs. Despite the risk, the FDA has not yet seen fit to issue a Lipitor recall.

Even after the FDA mandated label change in 2012, the current Lipitor warning label barely makes mention of diabetes. Only muscle and liver problems are listed under Possible Side Effects of Lipitor. You can view the FDA’s label recommendations here.

I’ve Been Using Lipitor. How Do I Know If I Have Diabetes?

The only way to know whether you have developed diabetes after using Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering medication is to consult your physician. He or she can order specific blood tests – for example, a fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) – to determine if you have the disease.

Telltale signs of illness include increased urination, increased thirst, blurred vision, uncharacteristic fatigue, and tingling in the hands and feet. If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.

What Should I Do If I Used Lipitor And Developed Diabetes?

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes after taking Lipitor, call our offices at 1-888-578-4755. Our Lipitor lawsuit attorneys are reviewing potential claims against Pfizer and will help you determine if you’re eligible to file a claim against Pfizer.

How Much Does It Cost To File A Lipitor Lawsuit Claim?

Lawsuits against Pfizer for side effects caused by its cholesterol drug are filed on a contingency basis. There are no out-of-pocket legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation for you and your family. This arrangement makes it possible for injured individuals who are without substantial resources to still pursue the recovery they deserve.

How Much Time Do I Have To File A Lipitor Lawsuit?

Every state imposes a time limit, called a statute of limitations, on individuals who have been injured by pharmaceutical drugs. Claims must be filed before the deadline passes and, in some states, time may be running out to file a Lipitor Diabetes claim. Failing to file your claim before the deadline risks forfeiting your right to pursue a recovery for your Lipitor diabetes side effects.

If you suspect your use of Lipitor triggered your diabetes, you owe it to yourself to speak with our Lipitor lawyers. We’ll advise you regarding your legal options as well as the deadline for filing a claim in your state. The consultation is free. There is no obligation to file a lawsuit. If you decide to pursue a recovery against Pfizer, there are no legal fees unless we win compensation for you.

Don’t allow the Lipitor claim filing deadlines in your state to expire. Call our offices at your earliest convenience to get the compensation you deserve.

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Attorney Stephen J. Fields believes that all people harmed by dangerous drugs and devices should be fairly compensated for their injuries. With this goal in mind he founded the Fields Law Office, where he strives to achieve the best possible outcomes for his clients. Connect with Stephen via .
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