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Shezad Malik MD JD
Shezad Malik MD JD
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Lipitor Diabetes Risk and Statins Use

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According to a new study, side effects of Lipitor and statin drugs appear to increase the risk of diabetes significantly. According to plaintiffs this data provides support for Lipitor diabetes product liability and injury lawsuits being filed throughout the country.

Canadian researchers published a study in the British Medical Journal, demonstrating that Lipitor users are 22% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those not given the drug. The study found that Lipitor was associated with the greatest risk of diabetes. Crestor, was associated with an 18% increased risk of diabetes and Zocor, was associated with a 10% increased risk of diabetes.

Lipitor Lawsuits Over Diabetes Risks

Recently many lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer alleging that the drug maker failed to adequately warn consumers or the doctors about the risk of diabetes from Lipitor side effects.

Plaintiffs claim that because of diabetes side effect, they are now required to monitor their blood glucose levels, follow a diabetic diet and take medications to control their blood sugar. Plaintiffs also claim that they now face an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, kidney disease problems from diabetes.

Plaintiffs claim that if they had been provided warnings about the Lipitor side effects, they could have avoided diabetes by not to take the drug or by monitoring their blood glucose levels during treatment.

What are Statins?

Statins are widely used medications in the U.S., prescribed to millions of people to lower cholesterol by reducing blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol. Other statins include: Advicor, Altoprev, Crestor Lescol, Lovalo, Mevacor, Pravachol, Simcor, Vytorin and Zocor.

Lipitor Huge Blockbuster Drug

Lipitor (atorvastatin) generated about $125 billion for Pfizer before it became available as a generic in 2011. The medication has been heavily promoted in direct-to-consumer advertisements, encouraging patients to speak to their doctor about whether they need to be placed on Lipitor.

2012 Lipitor Warning Label Change

In February 2012, Pfizer updated the warning label for Lipitor to provide information to consumers about the potential risk of changes in blood sugar levels. Lipitor warnings still fail to adequately warn about the risk of diabetes and it is alleged that Pfizer withheld information about the importance of monitoring for changes in blood glucose levels.

MDL Consolidation Pending

A motion has been filed and a hearing scheduled on July 25, over whether all Lipitor diabetes lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country should be consolidated before one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

Consolidation is common in complex pharmaceutical litigation, where a large number of lawsuits are filed in the federal court system raising similar injury allegations associated with the same medication.