Women Sue Pfizer Over Increased Diabetes Risk from Lipitor

KANSAS CITY, Kan., PRNewswire/ — Two Kansas women who took Lipitor to reduce their cholesterol levels and later developed type 2 diabetes have filed lawsuits against Lipitor’s maker, Pfizer. The announcement was made by the attorney filing the suit, Robert K. Jenner, who is with the Kansas City, Kan.-based firm of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC.

In separate filings, Alice Beems of Topeka and Nora Hammerschmidt of Plainville claim Pfizer failed to warn doctors and their patients that Lipitor, also called atorvastatin, altered blood sugar levels, putting users at much higher risk for developing diabetes. The cases were filed Feb. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas by JJ&S attorneys representing the women.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Pfizer in 2011 to add a warning that Lipitor carried a high risk of developing increased blood sugar levels, according to court documents. The company complied in 2012, although the warning continues to be “extremely vague” and makes no direct reference to diabetes, according to documents filed by the plaintiffs.

Pfizer had known since at least 2006 that Lipitor was causing increased blood sugar users in many users, according to the lawsuits.

Women’s Health Study

A study conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative of 150,000 postmenopausal women and published in 2012 found that those taking a statin were 48 percent more likely to get a diabetes diagnosis. The statistic rose to 86 percent for women with normal body weight.

As a result of their diabetes, these women are at much greater risk for heart disease, blindness, neuropathy and kidney disease, and must take additional medication and follow a restrictive diet and exercise regimen for the rest of their lives, according to the lawsuits.

The Women’s Health Initiative study is available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22231607

JJ&S’s summary of the lawsuits is available at http://myadvocates.com/lipitor-diabetes-lawsuit.

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