Woman Says She Developed Diabetes While Using Lipitor

A Stanford Washington woman has filed a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company Pfizer after using the drug Lipitor that was prescribed to her in 1998.

The lawsuit alleges that Pfizer marketed and promoted Lipitor as “safe and effective for people like the plaintiff,” despite data indicating the drug was causally related to blood glucose levels associated with Type 2 Diabetes. Lipitor is prescribed by doctors to lower cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood, works to prevent heart disease and lower the risk of strokes. Pfizer failed to adequately warn physicians and consumers of the risk of developing diabetes from using Lipitor.

In August 2011, the FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products advised changes to the labels of Lipitor. These changes were based on an FDA review that included clinical trial data showing a connection between the use of Lipitor and rising blood glucose. The complaint further alleges that in 2012, at the urging of the FDA, Pfizer added additional language to its Warnings and Precautions Section regarding increases in serum glucose levels while using statins, but that the label changes made were inadequate in warning of Lipitor’s causal relationship with Type 2 Diabetes.

In 2003, the plaintiff was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and is now is required to maintain a restrictive diabetic diet, and take medication to control her diabetes. Ironically, while the plaintiff was prescribed Lipitor to decrease her risk for heart disease, she now has a higher risk of heart disease due to her development of diabetes while using the drug.

This lawsuit is part of a surge in Lipitor lawsuits that have been filed since February 2012. In February 2014, a panel approved consolidation and transfer of Lipitor diabetes lawsuits to the District of South Carolina with the initial trial set to begin in October 2015.

Zachary Mayberry, student intern Jacoby & Meyers, LLC.