Pfizer is facing a "mounting wave" of lawsuits according to a recent Fox News article. The lawsuits arise out of problems with the pharmaceutical company's anti-cholesterol drug, Lipitor. Victims allege that the medication causes serious side effects, without adequate warnings issued to the public.
Drug manufacturers must alert the public to risks of medications. A defective drug attorney should be consulted if you have experienced unexpected side effects or if you have been harmed by prescription or over-the-counter medication.
Lipitor Lawsuit Filings Increase
Patients began filing lawsuits against Pfizer back in 2012 when the Food and Drug Administration warned that Lipitor, as well as other statins, had been linked to incidents of memory loss. The FDA also cautioned that patients taking Lipitor face a "small increased risk" of diabetes. Women have a greater risk of developing diabetes as a result of using Lipitor than men do. Women also derive fewer health benefits from the use of the medication.
At first, the number of women filing lawsuits was relatively small. However, a review of federal court filings in recent months indicates a dramatic increase in the number of affected patients who are fighting for their rights. In fact, the number of U.S. women who allege that they have developed Type 2 diabetes as a result of using Lipitor has increased from just 56 women to almost 1,000.
The dramatic increase in lawsuits followed a decision by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate Lipitor lawsuits in a federal court in Charleston, South Carolina. Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a very common way for dangerous drug claims to be resolved. All of the plaintiffs retain independent cases, but the claims arising from the same dangerous drug are moved before one court and one judge to make it faster and easier for pretrial decisions to be made.
Pfizer opposed the consolidation of the Lipitor cases because it believed it would prompt "copycat" filings. The drug company has also denied liability and has indicated that it is going to defend itself against the lawsuits. The reality, however, is that an MDL simply makes it possible for plaintiffs to get justice for injuries more quickly than if each individual case had to heard independently. Plaintiffs still must have their own individual case in an MDL, which means they must have been harmed by the medication if they hope to recover compensation.
The likely reason for the increase in lawsuits is simply that more women are becoming aware of the problems with Lipitor and more women are developing side effects and complications. More than 29 million patients in the United States have been prescribed Lipitor, and considering this high number of users, a few thousand lawsuits is a relatively small number of people taking legal action to protect their rights.
It is likely that more women will come forward to pursue a claim, as they should if they have suffered damage because of the drug company's failure to make a safe product and provide adequate warnings about side effects.
If you have been harmed by a defective drug, contact DeCarlo Law today at 877-572-0065 to schedule a consultation.