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The cholesterol drug Lipitor may be linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in otherwise healthy and active users. As a result of Pfizer’s failure to adequately warn about this potential risk, former users may be entitled to financial compensation through a Lipitor diabetes lawsuit.
LIPITOR DIABETES LAWSUIT STATUS: In January 2017, a federal judge granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. However, some product liability lawsuits are still being reviewed by Lipitor lawyers for diabetes suffered by individuals throughout the United States.
OVERVIEW: Lipitor (atorvastatin) is a statin-based cholesterol drug developed by the Pfizer subsidiary Warner-Lambert. The medication is one of the best selling drugs in the world, and generated more than $125 billion in sales before the patent expired in 2011. Several generic Lipitor versions are also now available.
Part of a class of medications known as “statins”, Lipitor is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, which is prescribed to help reduce the amounts of cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood. While the drug has been used by millions of Americans, it appears that the manufacturers failed to adequately warn that Lipitor side effects may increase the risk of diabetes.
LIPITOR DIABETES RISK: A number or studies and reports have found that there is a link between Lipitor and type 2 diabetes, which can pose serious health concerns for individuals who develop the condition.
In February 2012, the FDA announced it was requiring new label warnings on Lipitor and other statins to alert users to the possible increased risk of diabetes, but many believe the current Lipitor diabetes warnings remain insufficient.
The FDA required this label update after a number of studies suggested that the drug may increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes:
- In a study published in The Lancet in February 2010, researchers found that side effects of statins, which include Lipitor and other drugs, may increase the risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Researchers from University of Glasgo analyzed 13 different prior studies to identify the potential risk of diabetes with Lipitor and other statins.
- In March 2011, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that users of Lipitor had about a 33% higher risk fo developing type 2 diabetes over five years when compared to those taking a placebo. The study looked specifically at the link between Lipitor and diabetes.
- A follow up study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in June 2011 further highlighted concerns, finding that high doses of Lipitor and other statins were linked to onset of diabetes. Among individuals given intensive-dose statin therapy, the rate of diabetes was about 1 out of every 500 users.
- In January 2012, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that older women taking Lipitor and other statins may face a 50% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers examined data on more than 160,000 women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) between the ages of 50 and 79, finding that nearly 10% of women who took statins developed type 2 diabetes within 9 years, compared with 6.4% of those who did not take statins but still developed diabetes.
- In July 2014, a study published in Diabetes Care found that the longer people used statins, like Lipitor, the higher their risk of diabetes. Researchers found that those who stuck to statin therapy the longest have a 32% increased risk of diabetes over those who do not use Lipitor or similar drugs.
- A study published in September 2014 in The Lancet found that the enzyme Lipitor and similar drugs designed to inhibit to control cholesterol is also tied to a number of factors affecting blood sugar, which could explain the increase in diabetes risk.
- A report published in September 2015 by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices warned that Lipitor diabetes cases among women may indicate a wider problem with prescribing statins to women that may require different cholesterol guidelines based on gender.