January 6, 2017 — The federal judge in South Carolina overseeing around 2,800 Lipitor lawsuits has dismissed most of the cases due to a lack of evidence that it causes diabetes.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted summary judgement in all but the most recently-filed lawsuits in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2502), rejecting evidence that doses under 80mg can cause diabetes.
The only cases remaining in the MDL are those filed after January 25, 2016, but they will also be dismissed unless lawyers provide evidence.
“If Lipitor is not capable of causing diabetes, it follows that it is not the cause of diabetes in particular plaintiffs,” Judge Gergel wrote back in March 2016, in an order (PDF) granting Pfizer’s motion to exclude testimony from three expert witnesses who said lower doses might cause diabetes.
Several studies have associated high doses of Lipitor with diabetes, but most lawsuits involve people who were on doses under 80mg per day. All of the lawsuits accuse Pfizer of failing to warn patients — specifically, post-menopausal women — about the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
In February 2012, the FDA warned that Lipitor and other statins may increase blood-sugar levels and HbA1c, which are both risk-factors for diabetes. Just weeks earlier, a massive study found a 48% increased risk of diabetes among post-menopausal women who used cholesterol-lowering statins like Lipitor.