Atorvastatin is a chemical compound developed by Pfizer, Inc. that belongs to a family of anti-cholesterol drugs called statins. In 1996, Pfizer joined forces with Warner-Lambert to launch a massive marketing campaign of the then new medicine known better by its trade name “Lipitor.”
Ever since, Lipitor has brought in an estimated $130 billion into corporate coffers, thus claiming first place in all-time pharmaceutical product revenue. Since sales reps first begin visiting medical facilities with free Lipitor samples, U.S. physicians have written more than 29 million prescriptions.
Research Connects Diabetes with Lipitor Side Effects
Over less than half a decade since the drug first became suspect, researchers have found a suspected link between Lipitor side effects and first-time Type II diabetes, especially in female patients.
In 2010, the Lancet medical journal released one of the first studies based on empirical analyses of nearly 100,000 patient records that revealed adverse Lipitor side effects increase the incidence of new-onset diabetes by almost 10 percent.
In 2011, the scientific journal Atherosclerosis published research that confirmed those results with findings that patients who take statins face a higher risk of developing first-time Type II diabetes.
Another report came in the 2012 JAMA Internal Medicine publicationof research results that show postmenopausal women aged 50 to 70 face a 50% greater chance of developing Type II diabetes than non-statins users.
Alabama Woman Fights Back in Federal Court
On October 31, 2013, a woman and her husband filed suit against Pfizer in an Alabama federal court to recover punitive and actual damages for fraud, unjust enrichment, negligence, failure to warn, loss of consortium and breach of warranty.
According to court records, the primary co-plaintiff began taking Lipitor in 1998 to reduce her excessively high risk of heart disease due to elevated low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). Three years later, however, doctors diagnosed Type II diabetes that poses even greater risks of heart disease as well as blindness, kidney failure and neuropathy (nerve damage).
After more than a decade of adhering to special diets, frequent blood glucose checks, and daily diabetes medication, she learned that her condition were likely Lipitor side effects.
Plaintiffs allege, “Pfizer promoted and marketed Lipitor as safe and effect, despite knowledge that Lipitor is causally related to Type II diabetes.” Pleadings further claim that Pfizer altered Lipitor package labels after the FDA released a negative product report in 2012. (See Jean Smith et al. v. Pfizer Inc., Case No. 3:13-cv-00807-TFM, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Alabama).
Why Consult an Alabama Lipitor Lawyer?
Although core legal issues are essentially identical in Lipitor lawsuits, applicable laws are complex and can vary from state to state. Like most defective product damage claims, federal courts apply Alabama’s Extended Manufacturer Liability Doctrine to establish defendants’ liability and determine plaintiffs’ eligibility to economic recovery for damages.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with diabetes after taking Lipitor, it can be confusing trying to decide the next step to take. Contact Attorney Group for Alabama today for a free consultation. We can help you understand your options and connect you with an affiliated attorney who can help you file a lawsuit. Contact us today to learn more.