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Michael Monheit
Michael Monheit
Attorney • (215) 840-6573

FDA Warns on Statins, Lipitor & Diabetes

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A federal judicial panel recently denied a plaintiff’s motion to consolidate Lipitor lawsuit claims contending there were too few claims to support the action. The claims in the MDL request could be voluntarily handled by Lipitor’s manufacturer (Pfizer), ruled the Judge.

In 2012, a study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, used data collected from 15,000 women from 1993 to 2005, with an average age of 63 were more likely to develop type-2 diabetes, particularly postmenopausal women. In comparison to women that were not taking the statin drug.

While the motion to consolidate may have been denied, the investigations between Lipitor (atorvastatin) use and type-2 diabetes will continue. Numerous Lipitor lawsuits have been filed and several more are expected, on the behalf of those that were injured as a result of taking the anti-cholesterol drug.

One such example of the ongoing claims involves a Philadelphia woman suing the makers of Lipitor alleging she developed diabetes as the result of taking the drug. Doris Brown claims she developed Type-2 diabetes soon after she began use of Lipitor, which dates back to 2009 and was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes in 2011. She claims prior to using Lipitor she was in good health.

Brown claims, that because of her diabetes, she is now at a “markedly” increased risk of developing heart disease, blindness, neuropathy and kidney disease. The suit further claims that had Pfizer properly disclosed the associated risk of use, she could have either avoided taking it or had her blood glucose levels closely monitored.

There have been several warnings about statin use including memory loss, liver damage and muscle damage. The diabetes warning came to light in 2012.

This information should not scare people off statins, says Amy G. Egan, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for safety in FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products (DMEP). “The value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established,” she says. “Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of their side effects.”