Gaining Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1996, Lipitor is a brand of hypolipidemic statin used for treating high cholesterol. Pfizer manufactured the drug as a way to reduce the levels of harmful cholesterol in the blood while increasing the levels of healthy cholesterol at the same time. The drug is also intended to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke from complications due to Type 2 Diabetes and coronary heart disease. However, Pfizer is now facing allegations that the drug can cause Type 2 Diabetes, especially in middle aged and older women.
The Link Between Lipitor and Diabetes
Studies published as recently as 2013 show evidence of a high correlation between the use of Lipitor, and other statins, and the development of diabetes. The studies show that patients taking the drug are at risk of higher blood sugar levels and, as a result, of developing diabetes. The cause of this connection is that Lipitor can hinder the functionality of cells in the pancreas that store and release insulin. This function allows blood sugar and glucose to provide the body with energy that supports vital bodily functions. If these pancreatic cells do not properly function, as seen in patients with Type 2 Diabetes, glucose will not enter cells that support the body, and instead build up, potentially leading to organ damage and heart attack.
Studies continue to find new links between the medication and the development of Type 2 Diabetes in women. Evidence reveals that women who take Lipitor, regardless of having a healthy body mass index, are at the highest risk of developing the disease out of all of the demographics studied.
Taking Legal Action
In 2013, the FDA mandated that Pfizer update the information published on the Lipitor label to properly reflect the risks to consumers. However, in response to evidence against the drug, users are pursuing legal action against Pfizer on the basis that the company failed to adequately advise consumers of the risk of use.
Many of the plaintiffs filing suit against Pfizer are women who claim that they were not adequately warned about the potential of developing Type 2 Diabetes, that Pfizer promoted the drug as being safe, that Lipitor’s label never carried a warning about the need to monitor blood sugar levels until the 2013 FDA mandate, and that the consequences of such action has led to continual pain and suffering on behalf of those women who will have Type 2 Diabetes for the remainder of their lives.
Attorneys are filing individual lawsuits on behalf of a multitude of consumers. If you feel that you, or a loved one, developed high blood sugar levels from the use of Lipitor, or that the use of the drug led to the development of Type 2 Diabetes, you may have legal options. Lawsuits against Pfizer are seeking to recover compensation for injury and hardship faced as a result of using Lipitor, and you may be eligible. Contact Peter Angelos Law for a no-charge consultation.