Statin guidelines issued at the end of last year are likely to increase the number of Americans taking a cholesterol drug named in Lipitor lawsuit allegations, but may also have a negative effect on women, a New York Times editorial suggests.
A report from May 5th points out that recent statin recommendations put forth by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology are not gender-specific, which could result in harm for some patients being treated for high cholesterol and over-prescription of the medications. A study published two years ago in JAMA: Internal Medicine found an increased risk for Lipitor diabetes in post-menopausal women taking the statin, for example, which could lead to more Type 2 diabetes diagnoses in the U.S.
Some cardiologists also believe patients in the U.S. are too readily prescribed statins, which may not be beneficial to their health. “If you’re going to tell a healthy person to take a medicine every day for the rest of their life, you should have really good data that it’s going to make them better off,” said a cardiologist at the University of California in San Francisco. According to the Times, women represent more than half the population, and are largely underrepresented in clinical trials involving statin treatments for cholesterol. The article goes on to a reference a study from 2008, referred to as the ‘Jupiter trial” that found no significant reduction in strokes, heart attacks and deaths in women taking drugs like Lipitor. Conversely, men saw improvements to their heart health on statins.
Meanwhile, more and more Americans are coming forward to file Lipitor lawsuits against its manufacturer in various U.S. federal and state courts. A Case List updated on April 15th showed more than 460 claims pending in a federal multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California on behalf of patients were allegedly injured by the cholesterol-lowering statin. Plaintiffs in these cases allege new-onset Type 2 diabetes stemming from use of the drug, which they say Pfizer, Inc. failed to warn about on its product labeling. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a mandate in February 2012 that required all statin manufacturers to adjust their warnings to include the risk for diabetes, Lipitor claimants allege that they were still inadequately warned about drug dangers.
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