San Diego, CA (PRWEB) March 26, 2014
Resource4thePeople today announced an important legal update for consumers who are interested in litigation involving allegations that the anti-cholesterol medication Lipitor may cause patients to develop diabetes as outlined in a Food and Drug Administration report.*
The latest news is the assignment of dozens of Lipitor lawsuits** in which patients allege that they developed diabetes as a result of their use of the medication to a federal judge in Louisiana.
The lawsuits are now designated as a multidistrict litigation in which Judge Richard M. Gergel in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina will oversee pre-trial evidence gathering and other legal actions involving the lawsuits.
“This is an important development in the progress of these lawsuits and we are encouraged that the designation of Judge Gergel to oversee this litigation will enable these cases to move speedily forward to settlements or jury trials,” said Resource4thePeople.
“As these cases move forward we will also maintain our policy of providing free consultations to any consumer seeking information about their legal options to seek compensation over these allegations of developing diabetes.”
The transfer order from the judicial panel which assigned the cases to the judge outlined** the allegations involved:
“Plaintiffs allege that they have developed type 2 diabetes as a result of taking Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor. They contend that Pfizer failed to warn physicians and consumers adequately of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes from taking Lipitor, knew or should have known that the risks of Lipitor included developing diabetes, and negligently, recklessly, and/or carelessly marketed Lipitor without adequate instructions or warnings.”
The creation of the multidistrict litigation comes in the wake of a nationwide consumer update* issued by the FDA on Nov. 15, 2013, providing important new safety information on Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering medications.
“Since that announcement there has been a steady increase in the number of consumers inquiring about Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering medications and the possibility of developing diabetes,” said Resource4thePeople.
The free consultations offered by Resource4thePeople will enable consumers who are alleging they may have developed diabetes from the use of Lipitor and other statins to determine what legal options may be available to them to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other costs they may have incurred.
"Every case is different and there may be legal time limits involved that affect an individual's ability to file a claim so we are recommending that consumers involved with these allegations contact us as soon as possible to ensure that they preserve all of their legal options," said Resource4thePeople.
In its consumer alert the FDA said that "If you’re one of the millions of Americans who take statins to prevent heart disease, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has important new safety information on these cholesterol-lowering medications."
The FDA then advised consumers and health care professionals that:
- Routine monitoring of liver enzymes in the blood, once considered standard procedure for statin users, is no longer needed. Such monitoring has not been found to be effective in predicting or preventing the rare occurrences of serious liver injury associated with statin use.
- Cognitive (brain-related) impairment, such as memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion, has been reported by some statin users.
- People being treated with statins may have an increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes.
- Some medications interact with lovastatin (brand names include Mevacor) and can increase the risk of muscle damage.
In addressing the risk of developing diabetes in connection with the use of Lipitor and other statins the FDA described it in these terms:
"Diabetes occurs because of defects in the body’s ability to produce or use insulin—a hormone needed to convert food into energy. If the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin or if cells do not respond appropriately to insulin, blood sugar levels in the blood get too high, which can lead to serious health problems.
"A small increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes have been reported with the use of statins."
An FDA official quoted in the update said that the heart benefits of statins outweigh the risk of developing diabetes but patients taking statins and the health care professionals prescribing them may need to assess blood-sugar levels after instituting statin therapy.
"While the development of diabetes as the result of the use of Lipitor, as cited by the FDA in its update, is the major concern we have been receiving in inquiries from consumers there are other side effects that are being reported," said Resource4thePeople.
Side effects*** that have been cited on respected medical information sites, such as the independent site Drugs.com, which is one of the largest, most widely visited, independent medicine information websites available on the Internet include:
Muscle problems. Lipitor can cause serious muscle problems that can lead to kidney problems, including kidney failure. You have a higher chance for muscle problems if you are taking certain other medicines with Lipitor.
Liver problems. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver before you start taking Lipitor and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you take Lipitor.
The web site also recommends contacting a physician if the following symptoms occur: fatigue, loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark amber colored urine, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes or allergic reactions including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing which may require treatment right away.
Other symptoms cited include nausea and vomiting, passing brown or dark-colored urine, feeling more tired than usual and stomach pain.