Defective Drugs

Lipitor May Cause Type 2 Diabetes, Lawsuits Claim

This Alert Affects:

Women who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after taking Lipitor.

What Are the Allegations?
Lawsuits allege that Lipitor (atorvastatin) increases users' risks of developing Type 2 diabetes. Plaintiffs claim that the maker of Lipitor knew of this risk since at least 1996, yet failed to provide warnings on the drug's label until the FDA intervened in 2012.
What Is Lipitor?
Lipitor belongs to a group of drugs known as statins, which are used to treat high cholesterol.
Pfizer, Inc.
FDA Warning
In 2012, the FDA announced that it would be changing the labels for all statin drugs after various studies suggested a link between the cholesterol-lowering drugs and Type 2 diabetes.
Type of Lawsuit
Mass Tort

Women who used Lipitor and were later diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are now filing lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, demanding compensation for their injuries. Their lawsuits allege that Pfizer, Inc. knew that Lipitor could cause Type 2 diabetes, but failed to warn patients and physicians of this risk until the FDA required a label change for the drug in 2012. Still, even after the label change, the plaintiffs allege that the warnings for Lipitor are insufficient and do not address the serious risks associated with use of the drug.

Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer have an obligation to provide the public with accurate and complete information about their products. In light of allegations that the company failed to provide proper warnings for Lipitor, patients who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after using the drug may be able to file lawsuits seeking compensation for medical bills and other damages. If you would like to learn more about filing a lawsuit, fill out our free case review form today.

What Are the Lawsuits Saying?

Lawsuits involving Lipitor allege the following:

  • Lipitor is defective and unreasonably dangerous
  • Lipitor was not fully and adequately tested for the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
  • There were insufficient studies regarding the safety and efficacy of Lipitor use in women prior to the drug’s launch
  • Pfizer failed to adequately warn the public about the risks associated with Lipitor
  • Although Pfizer changed Lipitor’s label to include the risk of increased blood sugar levels, the current warning does not fully inform patients of the serious side effects associated with the drug
  • As early as 1996, Pfizer was aware of data that demonstrated a link between Lipitor and Type 2 diabetes and concealed that data

The lawsuits seek compensation for past and future medical expenses, economic losses, physical and emotional injuries, and pain and suffering.

Is This a Class Action Lawsuit?

This is not a class action. Class action lawsuits are typically reserved for instances in which a large number of people have suffered minor injuries as opposed to life-long diseases that require constant monitoring, such as diabetes. For more information on why this is not a class action, click here.

If you developed diabetes while using Lipitor, you will have to file an individual lawsuit through your attorney. If you need an attorney, or would like to learn more about filing a lawsuit, contact us today by filling out the form on the right

In February 2014, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation approved a motion to consolidate all federally-filed Lipitor lawsuits to one court (U.S. District Court District of South Carolina) in a process known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). The MDL will help promote judicial economy and avoid repetitious litigation, and will be overseen by one judge, the Honorable Judge Richard M. Gergel. Although Judge Gergel is overseeing all of the federally-filed lawsuits, plaintiffs will still retain their own attorney, lawsuit and right to an individual award.

How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?

Defective drug attorneys typically work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that they will only charge their clients if they are able to recover compensation in the case. Usually, defective drug attorneys will collect one-third of the final award as their payment.

FDA Changes Lipitor’s Label to Reflect Increased Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

In 2012, the FDA announced that it would be changing the labels for all statin drugs, including Lipitor, after recent studies suggested that the drugs increased users’ risks of developing Type 2 diabetes. According to the agency, one study published in Lancet medical journal found that those using statin drugs were 9 percent more likely to develop diabetes. In addition, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that postmenopausal women using statins had an increased risk of new-onset diabetes.

One of the most recent studies, which was published in the British Medical Journal in May 2013, found that Lipitor put users at a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes than any other statin. The same study found that, when compared to women using a different statin, women using Lipitor had a 22 percent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

How Does Lipitor Cause Diabetes?

When food is ingested, it is broken down into sugar (glucose) and enters the bloodstream. For someone without Type 2 diabetes, their pancreatic cells store and release a hormone known as insulin, which works to moderate blood sugar levels after a meal; however, those with Type 2 diabetes are unable to release sufficient levels of insulin, causing sugar to build up in the blood. As a result, they may suffer from a blood sugar spike, which can lead to serious heart problems. It is believed that Lipitor may inhibit pancreatic cell functions, and therefore puts users at risk for high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes.

Were you diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes? Do you believe it may have been the result of using the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor? If so, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Fill out our free case review form today for more information.

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Case Resources

In re Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation Complaint
MDL number 2502, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
In re Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation Transfer Order
MDL number 2502, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
JAMA Study, January 2012
Researchers find that post-menopausal women are at the highest risk for developing diabetes when taking Lipitor.
FDA Drug Safety Communication, February 2012
The FDA announces label changes for statins including Lipitor that warn patients about the risks of increased blood sugar levels and diabetes.
Lancet Journal Study, August 2012
Researchers find that Lipitor patients with at least one risk factor for diabetes are nearly 30 percent more likely to develop diabetes, as compared to those without any risk factors.
BMJ Study, May 2013
Researchers find that statins including Lipitor may be linked to an increased risk of developing new onset diabetes.