Lipitor lawyers at The Sanders Firm have been at the forefront of pharmaceutical litigation, holding dangerous drug manufacturers accountable for injuries caused by their products. As the link between Lipitor and type 2 diabetes becomes clear, The Sanders Firm is again leading the way to protect patients.
Prescription medications are so prevalent that at any one time, 7 out of 10 Americans are taking one. The best-selling prescription medication of all time is Lipitor, with lifetime worldwide sales topping $130 billion. There are more than 29 million Americans who currently have a Lipitor prescription and with the current research pointing to Lipitor as the source of type 2 diabetes in female patients, there are untold numbers of potential Lipitor plaintiffs.
At the Sanders Firm, our product liability attorneys have nearly 50 years of experience fighting on behalf of clients harmed by dangerous drugs. We work with a team of medical experts to help each client put his or her best case forward. If you have developed diabetes after taking Lipitor, consult with our legal experts to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation.
Lipitor is a brand name for atorvastatin calcium. It is in the class of drugs called statins, a name given to HMG CoA reductase inhibitors. When taken with a low-fat diet, Lipitor works by lowering the bad cholesterol made by the liver while raising good cholesterol. Lipitor is prescribed in order to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Pfizer warns that Lipitor should not be taken by anyone with liver problems or by women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. Some of the common side effects include diarrhea, muscle and joint pain, and some blood changes. But the FDA reports that taking Lipitor can also lead to memory loss, increased blood sugar, and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Lipitor and diabetes
Pfizer, which manufactures Lipitor, has been named as a defendant in a growing number of lawsuits brought by women who have developed type 2 diabetes while taking the cholesterol drug.
According to a 2012 study by a researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, women who took a statin like Lipitor were almost 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who had not taken the drugs. The study controlled for risk factors of diabetes such as older age, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle. The average age of women in the study was 63.
Looking at both men and women aged 66 and above, a 2013 Canadian study published in the British Medical Journal found that patients taking Lipitor faced a 22 percent increased chance of developing diabetes. The researchers found that patients taking other statins like Crestor and Zocor were also at an increased risk for diabetes, but their risk was not as high as that of the Lipitor users.
In February 2012, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) added warnings to the labels of statins like Lipitor that they may cause an increase in blood sugar and memory loss. The label change was brought on by a review of clinical trials, medical literature, and reports of problems while taking the drugs.
Options for Lipitor patients
Women who were prescribed and took Lipitor and subsequently developed type 2 diabetes may be entitled to compensation. In certain situations, her loved ones may be entitled to bring a claim as well.
A Lipitor lawyer can help by:
- Offering a complete and honest analysis of a claim before filing a lawsuit
- Partnering with respected experts who can explain complicated medical topics to a jury
- Being available to answer your questions throughout the litigation
- Not charging a legal fee unless you win your case
Lipitor attorneys at The Sanders Firm have successfully gone up against drug manufacturers, securing several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.
History of Lipitor litigation
The first Lipitor lawsuits were filed in 2012, after the FDA announced that taking Lipitor led to an increased risk of diabetes. In 2014, the risk of diabetes due to Lipitor use has become better known; the number of lawsuits rose from 56 at the beginning of the year to approximately 1,000 by the fall.
Those lawsuits include 4,000 women injured by Lipitor and claim that Pfizer did or should have known of the increased risk of diabetes but failed to disclose it to the public. A number of the federal Lipitor lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Charleston, South Carolina.
The first “bellwether” trials in the Lipitor litigation are expected to begin in the summer of 2015. The bellwether trials will give lawyers on both sides of the table a way to gauge the strength of their cases.
Successful Lipitor plaintiffs may be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses related to type 2 diabetes
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
Lawsuits in multidistrict litigation are grouped together for pretrial rulings but they are each tried separately. This means that even though the South Carolina Lipitor MDL is well on its way, it is not too late for Lipitor victims to come forward.
Product liability attorneys can help
For Lipitor victims or their loved ones, it may not be too late to speak to an attorney. The Lipitor MDL is accepting new cases and plaintiffs can still file lawsuits in state courts. But like any personal injury lawsuit, the time to file is limited by the statute of limitations. Time is precious, so speak to an attorney at The Sanders Firm to find out your legal options.
If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, please call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY.
- WebMD, Statins may Raise Diabetes Risk in Older Women, http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20120109/statins-may-raise-diabetes-risk-in-older-women
- Fox News, Pfizer facing surge of lawsuits over Lipitor, http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/08/pfizer-facing-surge-lawsuits-over-lipitor/
- Huffington Post, Diabetes, Memory Loss Warnings Added to Popular Statin Drugs, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/28/statin-warnings-memory-loss-diabetes-lipitor-crestor-zocor_n_1307232.html
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration, FDA Expands Advice on Statin Risks, http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm293330.htm