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How Pfizer’s TV Marketing May Have Exposed Millions To An Increased Risk Of Lipitor Diabetes

Written by on May 26, 2015
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In 1997, the FDA relaxed its rules regarding how pharmaceutical companies could market their drugs to consumers. They could now do so via television. It was perfect timing for Lipitor (atorvastatin), which gained FDA approval in 1996. Its manufacturer could now advertise the drug to millions of consumers watching TV. Unfortunately, there was an unintended consequence. Opening the floodgates exposed countless patients to a previously undisclosed potential link between use of Lipitor and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers have learned that direct-to-consumer TV ads promoting drugs like Lipitor (known as statins) may have caused overdiagnosis of high cholesterol levels. They may also have contributed to gross overtreatment; many people taking statins don’t need them. Meanwhile, they face a potentially increased risk of developing new-onset diabetes.

Pfizer Inc. has been named as a defendant in nearly 2,200 Lipitor lawsuit claims for women. Women across the U.S. have reported being diagnosed with diabetes following their use of Pfizer’s blockbuster medication.

Many of them led active lifestyles and maintained a healthy diet at the time of their diagnosis, contradicting the assumption that poor lifestyle choices contributed to their illness. Many researchers believe Lipitor diabetes can affect healthy women.

Many women have the disease, yet remain unaware that it may have been set off by their use of Lipitor. If you took the drug and later became diabetic, call us toll-free at 1-888-578-4755. Our Lipitor diabetes lawsuit attorneys will review your case and determine whether you’re eligible to file a Lipitor lawsuit claim.

Study Finds TV Ads For Statins Lead To Overtreatment

In 2013, a study appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine investigating the extent to which exposure to statin ads on TV affected diagnosis and treatment.1 The results were troubling, particularly in light of the potential for additional Lipitor diabetes complications.

The study authors surveyed 106,685 men and women, aged 18 and over, who reported seeing television ads for statins between 2001 and 2007. They noted whether the participants had been diagnosed with high cholesterol and whether they had taken statins in the year prior to their exposure to the ads.

The researchers found that men and women who saw the ads were 16 to 20% more likely to be diagnosed with a cholesterol problem. They were also 16 to 22% more likely to start using a statin.

Interestingly, the authors noted that “the associations were driven almost exclusively by men and women at low risk for future cardiac events.” In other words, the data suggested statins were being prescribed to people who did not need them. The ads seemed to have little effect on individuals who were at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

Direct-To-Consumer Marketing Worsens Lipitor Diabetes Risk

Lipitor is at the center of growing controversy involving questions regarding whether Pfizer included sufficient warnings with its promotions. Thousands of plaintiffs claim the drug maker knew its product increased the risk of diabetes in women. An extensive body of scientific research has demonstrated the possible connection.

Plaintiffs assert Pfizer was reckless in marketing its drug. Rather than disclosing the potential Lipitor diabetes connection, the company told consumers it was safe. Men and women were strongly encouraged to visit their doctors and ask whether Lipitor offered important health benefits.

The possibility of becoming diabetic was rarely, if ever, mentioned. As a result, doctors felt confident in prescribing Lipitor to their patients. Patients, unaware of the risk, felt confident taking it.

Lipitor Diabetes Lawsuits Filed By Women Allege Fraud

Lawsuits pending against Pfizer claim that the drug maker, along with its predecessors, knew about the diabetes risk as early as 1996. Pfizer did little to investigate the matter. Meanwhile, a long line of independent studies published in medical journals since 1996 have reported the possible connection.

Plaintiffs allege Pfizer fraudulently misrepresented the safety of using Lipitor. They claim the company purposely deceived doctors and patients about the risk of undisclosed side effects – chief among them diabetes. They note that had Pfizer warned them of the danger, they would have been more vigilant about checking their blood sugar levels. Many would have refrained from taking the medication altogether.

There’s no way to know how many people are now suffering from type 2 diabetes as a result of taking Lipitor. If you used Pfizer’s drug and were later diagnosed with the disease, you’re not alone. Nor do you have to suffer in silence. Call 1-888-578-4755 and speak with our Lipitor settlement lawyers.

The case review is free and without obligation. We’re here to listen and answer any questions you have about pursuing compensation from the manufacturer. If you decide to file a lawsuit, there are no attorney fees or legal expenses unless we obtain a financial recovery for you.

You have nothing to lose by pursuing a Lipitor settlement claim. But there is limited time to do so. Contact our offices at your earliest convenience to find out the filing deadline in your state. Take the first step toward recovering the compensation you deserve.

1. Direct-to-consumer television advertising exposure, diagnosis with high cholesterol, and statin use.

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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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