June 6, 2013 — Plaintiff Dianne Christopher of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has filed a lawsuit against Pfizer, Inc. after she took the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor and got type-2 diabetes. The Lipitor diabetes lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana on May 13. It alleges that Pfizer was aware of the substantial risks of Lipitor but failed to fully disclose those risks to the plaintiff.
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a member of the class of drugs known as “statins,” which lower cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood by blocking an enzyme in the liver responsible for producing cholesterol. It was the top-selling drug in history, with estimated sales of $125 billion before it became generic in 2011.
In February 2012, Pfizer updated the label on Lipitor to warn that it may increase blood-sugar levels. Before this warning was added, Lipitor had no warnings about hyperglycemia, and continues to lack warnings about type-2 diabetes.
Ms. Christopher alleges that she began taking Lipitor in 2003. In 2011, she was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes while she was still taking Lipitor. She claims she never would have used Lipitor if she had known about the risk of type-2 diabetes.
According to the complaint:
“Had Pfizer properly warned Plaintiff of the risk associated with using Lipitor, Plaintiff would have avoided the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by either not using Lipitor or by diligently monitoring her blood glucose levels.”
Pfizer is facing a growing litigation involving at least five Lipitor diabetes lawsuits. In April, plaintiffs’ lawyers requested the centralization of the lawsuits in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL). Pfizer has argued against the creation of a Lipitor MDL because the litigation is small. However, the number of cases may increase dramatically as lawyers continue to review potential lawsuits.
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