Lipitor Lawsuit Update: Thousands Of Lipitor and Diabetes Lawsuit Claims Added To Federal MDL
Written by Stephen Fields on June 20, 2014
The Lipitor lawsuit status conference held on June 13, 2014 allowed parties to discuss issues surrounding the litigation process in the South Carolina US District Court. One topic of interest included the process to transfer thousands of pending Lipitor and Diabetes side effects lawsuit claims from State Courts to the Federal Lipitor MDL.
Our Lipitor lawsuit attorneys are evaluating a rush of claims from women who believe that Pfizer’s blockbuster cholesterol drug triggered the onset of type 2 diabetes. The number of women claiming they were diagnosed with the condition after using the medication has risen dramatically over the last several months.
Given that the litigation targeting Pfizer is still in its early stages, it is believed that the number of Lipitor and diabetes claims by women could eventually reach into the tens of thousands.
More Than 3,000 Lipitor Claims Added To Federal MDL
In May 2014, the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) reported more than 700 Lipitor lawsuit claims pending in federal district court. By June, that number had risen to 846. The cases are part of an MDL that was established in February under Judge Richard Gergel in the District of South Carolina.
It now appears that the litigation targeting Pfizer will quadruple – practically overnight – as cases involving more than 3,000 plaintiffs are added to the Lipitor MDL. Like hundreds of individuals before them, the plaintiffs in the latest group of lawsuits to be transferred to Judge Gergel claim their use of Lipitor caused them to develop new-onset type 2 diabetes.
The lawsuits also allege that the omission of details related to the risk of disease was more than a mere oversight by Pfizer. The plaintiffs accuse the manufacturer of knowing about the risk, but concealing it from the public and medical community. The drug’s widespread use all but ensured that a large number of users would develop the disease.
Summary Of The Lipitor Diabetes Controversy
Lipitor is the trade name for atorvastatin, a member of a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. Pfizer started marketing it with Warner-Lambert in 1996. To date, the medication has generated close to $130 billion, making it the top-grossing pharmaceutical drug of all time. But thousands of former users have reported developing diabetes, a serious side effect they claim Pfizer failed to disclose.
Statins are prescribed to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They work by inhibiting a liver enzyme known as HMG-CoA reductase, which contributes to cholesterol production.
Part of atorvastatin’s commercial success is due to its effectiveness. (Pfizer’s aggressive marketing tactics have also played a key role.) Early trials showed that most individuals who were given the medication saw a noticeable reduction in their cholesterol levels. Based on the potential side effects disclosed by Pfizer, doctors felt comfortable recommending atorvastatin to patients. The drug has been prescribed to nearly 30 million people in the U.S. since 1996.
Evidence of a link between diabetes and statins was first discovered in the 1990s. But few people outside the scientific community were aware of it. The connection didn’t gain public attention until 2010, at which point many users began to wonder if they had been misled by the manufacturer about the drug’s hazards.
There have since been several studies published that demonstrate a relationship between Pfizer’s medication Lipitor and new-onset diabetes in females. Some studies have shown a marked increase in incident diabetes with use of atorvastatin compared to non-use. Other studies have shown an increase in the incident rate of disease for atorvastatin users compared to use of other statins, such as simvastatin.
The most alarming research focused on the side effects in postmenopausal women. They found that the women who used statins were nearly 50% more likely to develop diabetes than those who did not. As information about undisclosed Lipitor side effects continues to spread, the number of lawsuits filed against Pfizer can be expected to grow.
Are You Eligible To Pursue A Lipitor Settlement?
Pfizer, like all drug manufacturers, has a responsibility to meet certain standards of care when designing and promoting its medications. That responsibility extends to conducting postmarketing studies to uncover previously-undisclosed side effects. If serious side effects are discovered, the company is expected to warn the public about them.
Scientific research dating back to 1994 has demonstrated a connection between Lipitor and diabetes. Yet in the 15+ years that Pfizer has promoted its drug, the company has done little to warn users of the risk. Thousands of individuals are now suffering from diabetes after taking it.
Women who have been diagnosed with diabetes after using Pfizer’s cholesterol drug may be eligible to receive compensation. Call us today to speak with our Lipitor settlement lawyers about your case.
There is absolutely no fee for the consultation. Nor is there any obligation to file a Lipitor diabetes lawsuit. If you decide to do so, there are no legal fees unless we obtain a recovery for you.
There is limited time to file a Lipitor Diabetes lawsuit claim in 2014. Call our offices at 1-888-210-9968 at your earliest convenience to learn about your legal rights and pursue the compensation that you and your family deserve.