The cholesterol drug Lipitor may cause severe side effects beyond what Pfizer, the drug’s manufacturer, includes in its warning. In extreme cases, it may even cause certain patients to develop type 2 diabetes. Post-menopausal women are particularly at-risk of developing the condition.
If you developed diabetes after taking Lipitor for your cholesterol, you may be eligible for damages from Pfizer. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, have experience taking on the pharmaceutical industry in faulty drug cases. We are ready to review your case and help you join an action against a deep-pocketed drug company. Call 865-546-1111 today to schedule a free consultation with a Lipitor lawsuit lawyer in Knoxville.
What is Lipitor?
Lipitor, or atorvastatin, is part of a class of medications called statins. These drugs regulate enzymes in the liver that produce “bad” cholesterol while also encouraging the development of “good” cholesterol and promoting positive metabolism. When statins work correctly, they reduce the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
Since receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Lipitor has been a popular choice among doctors treating patients with high cholesterol. But despite its widespread use, there are life-threatening dangers associated with the drug that Pfizer does not want patients to know about. If you have gotten sick after taking Lipitor, contact us today. With our help, you may be able to join with other victims in a mass tort action against the company or we can help you file an individual lawsuit.
Why is Lipitor dangerous?
There are several common side effects associated with Lipitor, including:
- Muscle pain or weakness;
- Joint pain; and
- Throat irritation.
These are well-known and not life-threatening. Type 2 diabetes, however, is a much more severe condition than any of the side effects the company has warned patients about. A person can develop type 2 diabetes if his or her body starts to resist insulin, or when the pancreas stops producing enough of it. The disease can:
- Damage your body’s ability to fight infections;
- Cause recurring sores;
- Produce intense hunger and thirst;
- Lead to frequent urination; and
- Damage blood vessels, which can lead to fatal CVD.
Does Lipitor cause type 2 diabetes?
Studies indicate there is a strong link between Lipitor and type 2 diabetes. A 2008 clinical trial found that while statins did reduce the risk of CVD, there was an increase in the onset of diabetes among those who took the drug. The study showed that patients who were already at risk for diabetes were more likely to develop the disease if they took a statin such as Lipitor.
While this study—known in medical circles as the JUPITER trial—was controversial, later research has supported these original findings. In 2012, the FDA revised its warning labels on Lipitor and other statins to indicate a danger of increased blood sugar and other diabetes risk factors. Following the FDA’s action, Pfizer acknowledged the drug’s connection to high blood sugar.
Can I sue Pfizer if I developed diabetes after taking Lipitor?
Thousands of former Lipitor users have sued Pfizer after developing diabetes, claiming the company willfully hid this danger from the public.
Lipitor lawsuits are part of a legal action called a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is a type of mass tort. It is similar to a class action, but different in some key areas. If a product or drug causes widespread damage because of a company’s negligence or deceptive practices, plaintiffs can each file a suit. If the cases share enough common facts, a judicial panel may group them together as an MDL.
In a class action, one plaintiff might represent a class of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of victims. Each may get an equal share of a mass settlement. In an MDL, the cases remain individual, but because courts concentrate multiple cases into one, they save resources and make the civil process more efficient.
Is there currently an MDL against Pfizer for Lipitor?
Yes, but courts have stalled its progress. A South Carolina court consolidated more than 2,000 Lipitor lawsuits by patients who say they developed type 2 diabetes after taking Lipitor. Early in 2017, the court dismissed most of the cases in the MDL. Pfizer’s legal team was able to convince the court that expert testimony on the plaintiffs’ behalf was inadmissible and that there was not enough evidence that Lipitor had caused their illnesses.
Some of the individual cases within the MDL remain active on appeal. One of the differences between a class action and an MDL is that individual plaintiffs still are free to pursue their cases even after a judge dismisses the MDL. The dismissal of an MDL does not prevent new plaintiffs from suing a defendant on the same grounds. We can help you join an existing MDL or form one using your case.
Why do I need a lawyer?
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we have experience holding drug manufacturers accountable for deceptive and negligent practices.
Companies like Pfizer are well-equipped to fend off lawsuits from patients who suffer harm after using their products. To hold Pfizer liable in a defective drug suit, we will work to prove that Lipitor posed a serious threat to patients when it left Pfizer’s manufacturing facilities. We will consult scientific studies and gather testimony from medical experts to show how the drug harmed you.
It will not be easy, but with our Lipitor lawsuit attorneys on your side, you will have the best chance possible of receiving the compensation you deserve. If you live in the Knoxville area and have developed type 2 diabetes after using Lipitor, we are available for a free consultation about your case. Call 865-546-1111 today.