May 8, 2015 — Over 2,000 people who were diagnosed with type-2 diabetes after taking Lipitor have filed lawsuits against Pfizer.
Over 500 of those lawsuits were filed since January. In total, the number of cases in the federal court system stands at 2,185, with hundreds of additional cases pending in state courts throughout the United States.
The majority are centralized in one federal court in South Carolina under U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel — Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2502).
Attorneys are working trough the pre-trial discovery process, questioning witnesses and exchanging evidence.
A few cases have been selected as candidates for the first so-called “bellwether” trials set to begin in November. The outcome of those trials is not binding, but can help attorneys negotiate a settlement or other resolution for other lawsuits with similar facts.
Pfizer is accused of failing to adequately warn about evidence linking Lipitor and diabetes. Lipitor has been on the market since 1997, but the label did not include warnings about diabetes until February 2012.
Several studies have found evidence of a risk, including one study that found post-menopausal women were 50% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes if they took a statin. Soon after this study was published, the FDA ordered label updates on all statins, including Lipitor, to include warnings about changes in blood-sugar levels and diabetes.