Medical Journal Notes Lipitor Diabetes Risks in Recent Editorial

Published on January 2, 2014 by Sandy Liebhard

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The potential for a cholesterol-lowering drug to cause Type 2 diabetes may not be the only factor influencing Lipitor lawsuit claims.  The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published an editorial responding to recent guidelines put forth by the American College of Cardiology that could increase the use of statins in the U.S.

According to the article released on December 2nd, the director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center at Stanford University School of Medicine said that 40 million more Americans who do not have cardiovascular disease may be prescribed statins. He also notes the potential for Lipitor to cause new-onset diabetes and myopathy, before stating that the “statinization” of American could “be one of the greatest achievements or one of the worst disasters of medical history.”

Since February 2012, Lipitor’s labeling has included the risk for new-onset diabetes in individuals taking the medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that its packaging include its association with diabetes after research from JAMA found that post-menopausal women may be more likely to develop it.

This past May, the British Medical Journal published findings of a study that showed an individual’s potential to develop Lipitor diabetes to be 22 percent higher than those taking other medications.

Plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against Pfizer, Inc. have sought to consolidate cases in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), according to court documents, but one has not been created. A petition filed with the Panel in October 2013 showed at least 100 Lipitor lawsuits filed in U.S. federal jurisdictions by plaintiffs who allege its failure to adequately warn about the side effects associated with Lipitor prior to the 2012 warning. The company has voiced its opposition to a centralized proceeding in a Response filed on November 1st, in which officials argued that the litigation’s progress would be delayed.

In a case that was recently filed against Pfizer in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, the drug’s current labeling is insufficient. Individuals may still be unaware of its risks, which also include kidney and liver damage, as well as skeletal and muscle side effects, according to claims.

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