Novo Nordisk Fails To Warn About Risk of Gastroparesis from Wegovy, Lawsuit Alleges

Wegovy lawsuit claims the diet drug manufacturer minimized the risk of gastroparesis symptoms on the warning label, failing to inform doctors and patients about the long term side effects.

According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, Novo Nordisk is failing to adequately warn users and the medical community about the risk of Wegovy gastroparesis injuries, indicating that the warning label provided with the blockbuster diet drug minimizes complications that some users experience and the long-term consequences that can result from stomach paralysis.

The complaint (PDF) was brought by Dana and George Peach last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, joining a growing number of individual throughout the U.S. now pursuing lawsuits against Novo Nordisk, claiming that the maker of Wegovy and Ozempic placed it’s desire for profits and expanded sales above patient safety, by withholding critical information about the degree of gastrointestinal problems reported among users.

Wegovy (semaglutide) is a higher-dose version of the diabetes drug Ozempic, and both medications are part of a new class of weight loss drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). Although Ozempic has only been approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes, the drug has been widely prescribed as a diet drug in recent years, leading Novo Nordisk to introduce Wegovy in June 2021, featuring the same active ingredient.

Amid agressive advertisements promoting the drugs as safe and effective, with few serious health risks, millions of Americans have turned to the medications to help reduce their weight and improve their overall quality of life. However, allegations outlined in a rapidly growing number of Ozempic lawsuits and Wegovy lawsuits against Novo Nordisk paint a very different picture, describing long-term side effects some users are left with from gastroparesis, or stomach paralysis.

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Lawyers are pursuing Ozempic lawsuits, Wegovy lawsuits and Mounjaro lawsuits over gastroparesis or stomach paralysis, which can leave users with long-term gastrointestinal side effects

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According to this recently filed lawsuit, Dana Peach was prescribed Wegovy for weight loss in February 2022, and only used the medication until March 2022. However, that was long enough for her to suffer Wegovy gastroparesis, which led to abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, frequent diarrhea and decreased bowel function.

Peach indicates she was one of many who took Wegovy after being deceived by Novo Nordisk’s label warnings, which detailed several potential gastrointestinal symptoms on the label, but failed to mention these could be signs of Wegovy gastroparesis.

“The Wegovy label lists nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation as common adverse reactions reported in Wegovy patients, but they do not include these adverse reactions in its ‘Warnings and Precautions’ section, nor do they warn that these adverse reactions may be symptoms of more severe conditions, including gastroparesis,” the lawsuit states. “In fact, gastroparesis is not mentioned at all in the label.”

The couple’s lawsuit notes that none of Novo Nordisk’s advertising or promotional materials ever mention the risk of Wegovy gastroparesis, suggesting that may have been intentional.

“(H)ad Novo Nordisk adequately warned Plaintiff’s prescribing physician that Wegovy is causally associated with gastroparesis, then the physician’s prescribing decision would have changed by not prescribing Wegovy, or by monitoring Plaintiff’s health for symptoms of gastroparesis and discontinuing Wegovy when the symptoms first started,” the Peach’s argue.

As a result, the couple’s complaint presents claims of negligence, failure to warn, strict product liability, design defect, breach of warranty, fraudulent concealment, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and loss of consortium.

July 2024 Wegovy Gastroparesis Lawsuit Update

In February 2024, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation appointed U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter to preside over coordinated pretrial proceedings for all GLP-1 RA drug lawsuits, centralizing claims brought throughout the federal court system in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

As the parties were working with the court to establish a case management schedule, Judge Pratter passed away on May 17, causing a brief delay in the proceedings. However, last month the U.S Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) reassigned the Wegovy and Ozempic MDL lawsuits to U.S. District Judge Karen S. Marston.

As part of the coordinated management of the growing litigation, it is expected that Judge Marston will direct the parties to identify a small group of “bellwether” cases to prepare for early trial dates, which will help help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the claims.

Following coordinated discovery and any early bellwether cases, if the parties are unable to negotiate settlements or another resolution for the litigation, the claim filed by the Peaches and each other individual plaintiff may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for a separate trial date.

Image Credit: Tobias Arhelger - stock.adobe.com

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