The popular cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to numerous studies and thousands of lawsuits filed against Lipitor’s manufacturer. Type 2 diabetes is a life-threatening medical condition that requires lifestyle changes and lifelong monitoring and other treatments.
If you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after you started taking this medication, you could be entitled to compensation for medical costs and other damages. The defective drug attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy may be able to file a Lipitor class action lawsuit to try to hold the manufacturer accountable and recover fair compensation. We can walk you through every step in the legal process, as we fight for your best interests.
You are entitled to a free, no obligation legal consultation with our attorneys. If you have a case and decide to move forward, we will not charge legal fees unless you receive compensation for your injuries.
HOW DOES LIPITOR WORK?
Lipitor received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 and has become one of the most popular statins on the market. Statins are a class of drugs that are often used to help patients lower their cholesterol.
Lipitor is a calcium salt tablet that works by inhibiting the body’s production of HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme produced by the liver. This enzyme produces cholesterol, so inhibiting its production can help lower the patient’s overall cholesterol levels.
Lipitor can also help lower the level of triglycerides in the blood – high triglycerides have been linked to an increase in the risk of heart attacks, blood clots and strokes.
DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS
However, research has shown that Lipitor can also increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. This is a condition where your body cannot produce all of the insulin it needs or use the insulin the way it should. This results in glucose building up in your blood, causing high blood sugar levels. This can damage your organs and possibly result in a heart attack.
There are a few theories about how this happens. It could be because Lipitor raises blood sugar levels. Another theory is that Lipitor increases your resistance to insulin. A third theory is that Lipitor and other statins hurt your ability to secrete insulin from the pancreas.
No matter why it happens, if Lipitor causes you to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may have grounds for a Lipitor class action lawsuit. Our class action lawyers are prepared to fight for fair compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages you have suffered.
RESEARCH LINKING LIPITOR TO TYPE 2 DIABETES
Studies have consistently found a link between taking Lipitor and developing type 2 diabetes. This includes a study published in 2011 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which found that taking Lipitor can slightly increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to taking a placebo.
In 2012, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study about the risk of diabetes in postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative who took statins. Researchers found there was an increased risk for diabetes among this population of patients. The study also noted that there is evidence of an increased risk of diabetes in the elderly, women and Asians who used statins.
In 2013, the British Medical Journal published a study to examine the risk of diabetes in patients who took statins, the class of medications that includes Lipitor. Researchers compared the risk between high potency statins like Lipitor and pravastatin, which is a lower potency. They found that Lipitor and other high-potency statins might be associated with an increased risk of new onset diabetes. Researchers studied a group of patients 66 years old or older without diabetes who began treatment with statins between Aug. 1, 1997 and March 31, 2010.
A study published in 2015 in Diabetologia found that there was a 46 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes in patients who were taking statins, like Lipitor. Researchers studied 8,749 patients between the ages of 45 and 73 for 5.9 years. The diabetes cases were attributed to a decrease in insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity.
Our skilled attorneys know how to use this research to build a case to try to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in some way. We may be able to file a Lipitor class action lawsuit to pursue compensation for the damages you have suffered.
FDA DRUG SAFETY COMMUNICATION ABOUT LIPITOR
After conducting a comprehensive review of statins, the FDA released a drug safety communication about Lipitor in 2012. The communication noted that regulators had approved changes to Lipitor labeling to advise the public about safe and effective use of statins.
The communication does not specifically mention the risk of type 2 diabetes, but it does say there have been reports of increases in blood sugar levels, a symptom of type 2 diabetes. The communication also notes there have been rare reports of liver problems, which could create the following symptoms:
- Fatigue that is out of the ordinary
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper belly
- Dark-colored urine
If you suffered these side effects before the warning was released, you may be able to file a Lipitor class action lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages.
LIPITOR CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS THAT HAVE BEEN FILED
Not long after the FDA issued its drug safety communication, Pfizer began to face numerous lawsuits from people claiming the drug company failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about all of the health risks from Lipitor.
In 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized all pending and future federal Lipitor lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of South Carolina. The MDL includes more than 2,000 lawsuits.
A lot of the victims who filed lawsuits were women who had a healthy body mass index, maintained a healthy diet, and took Lipitor to decrease the risk of heart disease. Unfortunately, these people ended up being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
These victims are now at greater risk of developing heart disease, which is the exact condition Lipitor is designed to help prevent.
In 2015, the federal judge in charge of the MDL set a date for the first trial. However, in 2016, Pfizer filed a motion to exclude all expert testimony from the plaintiffs. In early 2017, the judge granted the motion and ruled that the plaintiffs could not cite any evidence that would allow the jury to infer that type 2 diabetes was caused by Lipitor. This ruling has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
CONTACT OUR TRUSTED ATTORNEYS FOR FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION
Millions of people take Lipitor regularly to try to control their cholesterol. They were not expecting to eventually develop type 2 diabetes, a devastating diagnosis that can cause medical problems for the rest of someone’s life.
These people may be able to join a Lipitor class action lawsuit to try to obtain compensation for the damages they have suffered. This includes all current and future medical bills related to the management of their medical condition, along with pain and suffering and a variety of other damages.
If you are one of these victims, you should strongly consider working with a defective drug lawyer from our firm. We have many years of experience pursuing fair compensation from negligent manufacturers. This includes manufacturers who produce dangerous drugs or do not warn consumers and doctors adequately about all of the risks.
We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation where you can discuss the merits of your Lipitor lawsuit. If you decide to proceed, you will not be charged legal fees unless we recover fair compensation.