April 28, 2014 — Pfizer, Inc. has been hit with yet another Lipitor lawsuit accusing that the company failed to warn that the popular cholesterol-lowering drug can cause type-2 diabetes, according to the Journal Star.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Nebraska by plaintiff Jodie Ward. She used Lipitor from September 2002 to December 2011. She was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes in 2004, and must now undergo regular testing of her blood-sugar levels, adhere to a strict diet, and take medication. She is also at an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney disease.
Evidence linking Lipitor and diabetes has been growing for several years. On August 11, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Pfizer to place warnings on the label about the possible risk of diabetes. Six months later, Pfizer updated the label. Before that, the label did not warn that Lipitor could affect blood-sugar levels.
Ward alleges that she never would have used Lipitor, or she would have more closely monitored her blood-sugar levels, had Pfizer properly warned about the risk of diabetes.
Lipitor was once the best-selling drug in the United States. Since it was approved in 1996, over 29 million people have used Lipitor. There is ample evidence that Lipitor reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke for people with high cholesterol and pre-existing heart disease. However, for people without heart disease, the benefits of Lipitor are less clear.
As of April 15, 2014, Pfizer is facing 464 product liability lawsuits in a centralized federal litigation in South Carolina. The Multi-district Litigation (MDL) is overseen by District Judge Richard M Gergel.
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