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Pfizer Faces Increasing Number of Lawsuits Over Lipitor

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Published on : Aug 11, 2014

Lipitor, Pfizer’s anti-cholesterol drug, is allegedly causing type-2 diabetes in many women. Many of those who filed the lawsuits claim that the pharmaceutical giant possessed knowledge about the drug’s side-effects, but did not warn the public about them.

The number of lawsuits against the company has gone up from 56 to around 1,000 in the past five months. The lawsuits started getting filed after the Food and Drug Association (FDA) in 2012 warned that the drug and other strains have been associated with incidents of memory loss and a minor increased risk of diabetes.

The spike also followed a federal judge panel’s decision to consolidate all Lipitor-related lawsuits in the U.S. into a single lawsuit at the Federal courtroom in Charleston, South Carolina. Pfizer has argued against the decision, stating that it would only increase the chances of copycat filings against the company.

The first case will be tried next July. Pfizer has denied all liability, claiming the incident to be similar to what Takeda Pharmaceutical faced in 2011, when the FDA ordered them to declare a warning label for bladder cancer on Actos, its diabetes-related drug.

Lipitor has been claimed to have more benefits for men than women, while the diabetes risk is more in women than men.

Statins are a primary component in Lipitor, which are said to reduce cholesterol production in the liver, reducing the risks of heart disease. Factors that may complicate this case are that Lipitor is Pfizer’s best-selling drug, sold to more than 29 million patients in the U.S., and that the FDA had stated the benefits of statins long before they warned the public about the dangers of Lipitor.

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