Lipitor Attorneys Evaluate Potential Claims Against Pfizer
Written by Stephen Fields on May 5, 2014
Our Lipitor attorneys are evaluating potential lawsuit claims against Pfizer, Inc. for women who believe Lipitor caused them to develop type 2 diabetes. The women claim they weren’t given sufficient warning and that Pfizer failed to adequately communicate the risk. Although the company finally revised Lipitor’s safety label, Lipitor warnings remain vague about the drug’s influence on blood glucose levels.
So far, Pfizer has refused to take responsibility for the thousands of incidents of new-onset diabetes reported among the drug’s users. It continues to insist that its drug is safe and effective. But those who have been harmed by it feel that despite Pfizer’s claims, the medication may cause major health complications.
Lipitor was designed to lower cholesterol levels in individuals considered to be at risk for heart disease. Known as a statin, it sabotages an enzyme found in the liver called HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme helps to make cholesterol. Blocking it lowers the amount of LDL cholesterol produced in the liver. It also causes the liver to absorb cholesterol from the blood.
An expanding body of research on Lipitor and diabetes in women suggests that atorvastatin (the generic name for Lipitor) also raises blood sugar levels, particularly in women, exposing them to type 2 diabetes. The disease has no known cure.
Woman’s Lipitor Diabetes Lawsuit Makes Several Allegations
Lipitor lawsuits accuse Pfizer of committing several offenses. One such plaintiff, Aubrey Isom, says she was prescribed the cholesterol drug in 2006 to lower her risk of heart disease. Within a year of starting therapy, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Isom notes in her complaint that developing the disease has forced her to make significant changes in her life. For one, she must have her blood checked regularly to ensure her blood glucose levels are within an acceptable range. She must also exercise, stick to a specific diet, and take medications for her condition. In addition, her new illness has put her at greater risk for nerve damage, kidney disease, and other complications.
Isom’s lawsuit accuses Pfizer of negligence in every aspect of bringing Lipitor to market. She alleges the company failed to use a reasonable level of care in designing, developing, testing, manufacturing, and marketing its medication. According to Isom, Pfizer also failed to conduct adequate postmarketing surveillance, and neglected to warn her and her doctors about the risk of new-onset diabetes.
She also claims the safety information that accompanies Lipitor is insufficient about the drug’s risks, particularly with respect to the development of diabetes. Her lawsuit notes that Pfizer not only failed to warn the public about the risk, but actively suppressed information about it. The company’s position as the manufacturer gave it unique insight into matters concerning the drug’s safety. For that reason, Isom’s physicians were inclined to believe Pfizer’s claims that its cholesterol medication was safe for women.
Lipitor lawsuits such as Isom’s maintain that Pfizer had an obligation to disclose the fact that its drug was dangerous. They accuse the manufacturer of fraudulently concealing details about its side effects, instead.
Potential Lipitor Side Effects Include Diabetes Complications
One of the most troubling aspects of the Lipitor controversy is that type 2 diabetes is considered incurable. Unlike an infection that can be controlled and eliminated, the illness becomes a lifelong burden for the victim. Steps must be taken to manage it to prevent lasting damage on the body’s major systems.
If diabetes is allowed to continue unchecked, it will eventually degrade the patient’s blood vessels to the point that her circulation becomes impaired. Poor circulation can set the stage for serious complications.
The patient risks kidney disease, hearing loss, vision problems, and permanent nerve damage. In many cases, diabetics with advanced disease suffer a near-complete loss of sensation in their feet. Injuries and infections that go undetected can eventually lead to amputation.
FDA Warns of Link Between Statins and Diabetes
Pfizer obtained FDA approval to sell atorvastatin in 1996. It has managed to avoid major litigation over the drug’s side effects for more than 15 years. This is due largely to the fact that most of the public has been unaware of the connection between Lipitor and type 2 diabetes.
That changed in February 2012. The FDA published an advisory that noted the link between statins like atorvastatin and diabetes. The agency informed the public that the safety labeling used for statins would be revised to note the connection.
Although the Lipitor Warning Label remains vague about the risk of high blood sugar levels, more users have become aware of a potential problem. Many of those who had been diagnosed with diabetes while using the cholesterol medication decided to file lawsuits for compensation.
Litigation Over Lipitor Diabetes Expected To Expand
In 2014, the number of lawsuits targeting Pfizer continues to rise. As news of the Lipitor and diabetes connection has continued to spread, interest in holding the company accountable has grown considerably. Lipitor lawsuit attorneys are reviewing thousands of potential claims that may ultimately join the Lipitor MDL (multi-district litigation).
Women who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after using Lipitor may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Contact our experienced Lipitor lawyers to discuss your case. There is no cost for the consultation nor any obligation to file a lawsuit. If you decide to do so, there are no legal fees unless compensation is recovered for you.
There is limited time to file a claim. Call our offices at 1-888-210-9968 to learn more about your legal options and pursue the compensation you deserve.