Lipitor, a medication that helps prevent heart disease and lower cholesterol, has been linked to causing Type 2 diabetes in women. Known generically as Atorvastatin, Lipitor has been investigated for an increased risk of diabetes development since 2009. The most recent study, published in May 2013, shows women who take this medication have a 22% higher chance of developing diabetes than those who are not taking it. That percentage increases to almost 50% in post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine.
This is alarming due to the large number of women who are prescribed this medication. The Center for Disease Control reports 36% of women between the ages of 64 and 74 take Lipitor to prevent having a heart attack. In 2011 Lipitor was the top selling prescription drug on the market, generating more than $125 billion in sales over 14.5 years for the manufacturer Pfizer Inc. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after taking Lipitor, or its generic form Atorvastatin, you may be entitled to a cash settlement.
Pfizer Inc. was first taken to court for Lipitor causing patients to develop diabetes in 2013. Patients in the case, taken to the South Carolina federal court, allege Pfizer inadequately labeled the risks associated with taking Lipitor. When the drug was released in 1996 there were no warnings of any potential relation between changes in blood sugar levels and taking Lipitor. Consumers were not warned of the serious risk of developing type 2 diabetes until 2012 when the Food and Drug Administration ordered Pfizer to add warnings about diabetes to Lipitor labels. The 2013 lawsuit claims Pfizer also engaged in overly aggressive and misleading marketing without providing patients and physicians with information that could have prevented injuries. In addition to concerns over developing diabetes, the FDA indicates Lipitor can cause liver damage, cognitive impairment such as memory loss, and muscle damage. There are no scientific studies suggesting a link between Lipitor usage and diabetes in men at this time.
Cases, Settlements, & Verdicts
April 2013: A group of plaintiffs who filed Lipitor claims in the South Carolina Federal Court against Pfizer Inc. asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer pending and future federal lawsuits to the District of South Carolina for consolidated pretrial proceedings.
February 2014: A Lipitor MDL was established for a growing number of cases being filed in federal and state courts.
January 2015: 1,604 cases- Lipitor (Atorvastatin) Litigation, MDL No. 2502 U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina