August 14, 2014 — Reuters reports that nearly 1,000 lawsuits have been filed by women who developed type-2 diabetes after taking Lipitor (atorvastatin).
The number of lawsuits has surged in the last five months. In February, federal judges centralized the cases in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, overseen by Judge Richard M. Gergel.
According to attorneys, more than 4,000 women are represented and the number could grow to 10,000 or more. Lipitor was the best-selling drug of all time. It was prescribed to more than 29 million Americans, raking in $130 billion for Pfizer since 1996.
In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering statins were associated with a “small increased risk” of diabetes. The FDA also concluded that the benefits of statins outweighed these risks.
However, studies found that post-menopausal women were 50% more likely to develop diabetes than similar women who did not use statins. In the study, 10% of women on statins were diagnosed with diabetes, vs. 6.4% of women who did not use statins. Lawyers allege that Pfizer should have provided stronger warnings for this patient population.
Type-2 diabetes is a chronic, progressive metabolic disease that can destroy a person’s health if unchecked. Long-term complications include higher rates of stroke, neuropathy (nerve pain), high blood pressure, cataracts, glaucoma, kidney disease, skin infections, and more.