Lipitor Has Caused “National Epidemic” of Diabetes For Women: Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by a California woman alleges that side effects of Lipitor caused her to develop type 2 diabetes, suggesting that the blockbuster cholesterol drug may be responsible for a “national epidemic” of diabetes among otherwise healthy women.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Aubrey Isom in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on August 15, joining a growing number of Lipitor diabetes lawsuits filed by women throughout the United States.

According to allegations raised in the suit, Isom was prescribed Lipitor in 2006, to lower her cholesterol levels and help decrease her risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, after using the medication for about a year, she states that she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

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Isom claims that Pfizer knew about the increased risk of diabetes from Lipitor, but failed to provide adequate warnings for consumers or the medical community.

“Plaintiff’s injuries, like those striking thousands of similarly situated victims across the country, were avoidable,” according to the complaint. “Lipitor has been implicated in a national epidemic of type 2 diabetes in women taking Lipitor.”

As a result of the diabetes complications from Lipitor, Isom states that she now must undergo regular blood testing, adhere to a restrictive diabetic diet and take diabetes drugs. She is also at an increased risk of blindness and heart disease, the condition she was trying to avoid by taking Lipitor.

Lipitor Diabetes Warnings Are Inadequate

Lipitor (atorvastatin) is one of the most widely used brand-name medications in the United States, with millions of Americans taking the medication to help lower cholesterol and improve their health. Before it became available as a generic in 2011, Pfizer generated more than $125 billion in Lipitor sales.

In February 2012, the FDA required new diabetes warnings for Lipitor and other similar statins, informing users for the first time that they may face an increased risk of changes to blood glucose levels.

However, plaintiffs in lawsuits filed throughout the country allege that Pfizer knew or should have known about the possible risk of diabetes long before these warnings were issued, and critics suggest that the diabetes warnings remain inadequate and vague.

“Even though Defendant knew of the risks for several years, medical providers were unaware that the use of Lipitor caused type 2 diabetes in female patients,” according to allegations raised in Isom’s complaint. “As a result, thousands of women taking LIPITOR  were unaware that the drug was affecting their blood sugar levels.”

Isom is accusing Pfizer of negligence, failure to warn, breack of warranty, deceit by concealment, fraud by concealment, negligent misrepresentation and violating California consumer protection laws. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Mounting Litigation Over Lipitor

A growing number of similar lawsuits have been filed by women in state and federal courts throughout the United States. However, Isom’s complaint comes shortly after the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) rejected a request filed by plaintiffs to centralize all cases brought in the federal court system.

Despite the outward appearance that the litigation would be a good candidate for centralized management, the MDL panel has determined that each of the cases will proceed as individual lawsuits in the U.S. District Court where they were filed.

Following oral arguments last month, the U.S. JPML pointed out that more than half of the pending actions are already coordinated before one judge in the District of South Carolina, and Pfizer has represented that it is ready and willing to informally coordinate any common discovery or pretrial matters across the cases.

As Lipitor lawyers continue to review and file additional lawsuits in courts throughout the country, it is possible that the motion to establish an MDL will be renewed. Consolidating the cases before one judge for coordinated handling throughout pretrial litigation is designed to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting rulings and to serve the convenience of the witnesses, parties and the courts.

1 Comments

  • TannisNovember 26, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I started taking Lipitor in 1998 and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2003. In 2012 I had a triple Bi-pass.

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