Two Kansas Women File Personal Injury Lawsuits for Lipitor Side Effects
The latest Lipitor lawsuits against Pfizer are not yet in the multidistrict litigation, but have been filed by two women in Kansas.
Plaintiffs Alice Beems of Topeka, and Nora Hammerschmidt of Plainville, filed in separate filings that Pfizer failed two warn doctors and their patients about the dangers of taking Lipitor, especially the potential to develop Type 2 diabetes. The cases were filed on February 25th in the US District Court for the District of Kansas.
Lipitor is the brand name of a statin drug called atorvastatin. Statin drugs are used to lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease, and also stabilizes plaque and prevents strokes through anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Lipitor, as with other statins, inhibits the creation of a liver enzyme that plays a key role in cholesterol production in the body.
In 2011, the FDA ordered Pfizer to put a warning label on Lipitor to warn users that they could potentially develop Type 2 diabetes due to raised blood sugar. However, complaints since 2012 allege that the warning label is still too vague, and says nothing explicitly about Type 2 diabetes.
Pfizer faces more than 2,000 personal injury lawsuits alleging that Lipitor use can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Recently, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ruled that the lawsuits had enough common ground to create a multidistrict litigation (MDL) which will be based in South Carolina.
Study in British Medical Journal Links Lipitor to Type 2 Diabetes
Although many doctors say that statins like Lipitor are an important part of regulating cholesterol to prevent heart disease, a study published in the British Medical Journal in May 2013 clearly established a link between Lipitor and Type 2 diabetes. The study showed that women – like Ms. Beems and Ms. Hammerschmidt – are the highest-risk group.
The FDA approved a change of warning label on Lipitor in February 2012, to reflect the potential link between Lipitor and diabetes. The decision was prompted by a clinical trial in 2011 that showed that patients taking Lipitor had an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but the study results were written off – the women in the study were, generally, believed to have a predisposition toward Type 2 diabetes anyway, due to high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes being prevalent in people with high cholesterol.
However, the latest study showed clearly that Lipitor specifically, compared to other statin drugs, increased women’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Other statins in the study included Zocor and Crestor. The study showed that female patients taking Lipitor had a 22% increased chance to develop new onset diabetes.
The Strom Law Firm Is Now Investigating Lipitor Cases
Although many doctors believe that the benefits of statins such as Lipitor outweigh the risks, patients who are otherwise healthy disagree. Type 2 diabetes carries the risk of a wide variety of different side effects, including increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage or neuropathy, kidney damage, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, skin and mouth conditions, and diabetic macular edema, which can lead to blindness.
The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are currently investigating claims that taking Lipitor is related to development of Type 2 diabetes. There may be a limited time to file a claim, so contact us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800