Belviq Cancer Lawsuit Claims Cleared to Proceed

Court rejected motion to dismiss claims filed by a former user who alleges maker of the diet drug failed to adequately warn about the link between Belviq and cancer, which resulted in a global recall in early 2020.

  • A Belviq recall was issued in early 2020, due to a risk of cancer.
  • Lawsuit filed by Amy Davis was one of the first claims brought against the drug makers.
  • Judge rejected motion to dismiss all of the claims, allowing the Belviq lawsuit to proceed.
  • Lawyers are continuing to review new cases cancer from Belviq. SUBMIT A CLAIM

A federal judge has cleared one of the first lawsuits filed over Belviq cancer risks to move forward, after rejecting a motion filed by makers of the diet drug to dismiss all of the claims.

Only a few months after a nationwide Belviq recall was issued, Amy Davis filed a complaint against Eisai, Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals, alleging the companies developed and sold an unreasonably dangerous weight loss drug which actually increases the risk of cancer. Davis indicates she was prescribed Belviq for weight loss and diet control in August 2017, and continued to use the drug until November 2019, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Belviq (lorcaserin) was removed from the market in early 2020, after post marketing data found a large number of reports involving users diagnosed with cancer. However, before the FDA recalled Belviq it was on the market for nearly eight years, and hundreds of users may have developed cancer.

The diet drug was approved by the FDA in 2012, as the first new weight loss pill allowed on the market in the United States in years. Although the medication was introduced after a series of recalls and problems were associated with other weight-loss medications, the lawsuit indicates the drug makers did not disclose they failed to properly test or study the potential link between Belviq and cancer, rendering warnings provided with the drug makers inadequate.

In response to the Belviq cancer lawsuit, Eisai and Arena filed motions to have Davis’s claims dismissed, but were only partially successful, according to recent court filings.

On October 14,  U.S. district Judge Greg Kays, of the Western District of Missouri, issued an order (PDF) granting a partial motion to dismiss one count of Davis’s lawsuit against Eisai seeking damages for negligent misrepresentation. On the same day, he also issued an order (PDF) partially granting a motion to dismiss a charge of design defect filed by Arena Pharmaceuticals. The design defect claim was dismissed without prejudice, meaning Davis could feasibly refile with a different legal argument. However, the orders leave the bulk of the lawsuit intact, allowing the remaining claims to move forward.

The case is one of several dozen Belviq lawsuits pending throughout the federal court system, which are pending in various different U.S. District Courts nationwide. This summer, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation refused to transfer the cases to one federal judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings, finding that the parties can effectively coordinate the cases without formally centralizing the litigation before one judge.

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