Consumer Alert! Lipitor Diabetes Warning!

This is Michael Brady Lynch, lead trial attorney for The Michael Brady Lynch Firm.

There was a time when the medical community in the United States advocated putting cholesterol-lowering statin drugs in the drinking water. Wow, have things changed!

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to place warning labels on their products alerting consumers and medical providers to an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Statins have been available to treat high cholesterol since the 1980s, but purportedly only recently was the link between statins and diabetes discovered (at least that is what the manufacturers claim, and I have serious doubts). The warning labels come in the wake of several large-scale studies that revealed the risks associated with taking statins are far greater than what the statin industry previously advised the public and medical community.

In particular, the more potent statins such as Lipitor, one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world, are associated with an increased risk of developing adult-onset diabetes, known as Type 2. A 2010 study looked at 91,000 patients who had either been treated with statins or with a sugar pill (placebo). Those treated with the statin were considerably more likely to develop diabetes, especially those patients taking the more powerful, more recently developed statins. It is estimated that one in every 200 patients treated with the big three statins – Lipitor (Pfizer), Crestor (AtraZeneca) and Zocor (Merck) – will develop diabetes. That’s 100,000 new cases of the disease potentially waiting to develop.

In short, this has all the brewings of a public health disaster as hundreds of thousands of Americans are likely to develop diabetes in the upcoming years.

Patients who already have an increased risk for diabetes – those with excess weight, high blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, smoking and high blood pressure – are particularly at risk. Additionally, it has also been found that postmenopausal women with other risk factors have a 46 percent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes when taking Lipitor than do those taking a placebo. Moreover, the risk of diabetes increases significantly in both men and women the higher the dose of Lipitor taken.

I am not a doctor, but this recent warning might hopefully prompt Americans without the risk factors to consider trying other methods of dealing with high cholesterol such as diet and exercise to avoid the risk of diabetes. Those with risk factors for stroke and heart disease are advised to continue with statins, as the risk of heart disease and stroke is arguably greater than the risk for diabetes, according to medical experts.

It is still not known why statins cause diabetes, even though study results have been out for some time. However, as is common in the pharmaceutical industry, I am confident that internal industry documents will reveal that Pfizer and others had concrete evidence of the risk of diabetes with statin use long before such data was meaningfully disclosed to the FDA and the medical community. And there is a simple reason for this deception – the almighty dollar. Today, annual sales of Lipitor and its generic version atorvastatin are in excess of $130 billion. And it is taken by more than 20 million people.

If you or a loved one was on Lipitor, Crestor and/or Zocor and developed diabetes, please contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.

About the Firm: The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is a trial firm with a focus on pharmaceutical mass tort cases involving SSRI and Anti-Seizure Medication Birth Defects including Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Depakote and Topamax, Mirena IUD, Actos Bladder Cancer, Fosamax Femur Fractures, and medical device cases including DePuy Hip and Trans-Vaginal Mesh cases. Contact us today if you or someone you know has experienced side effects involving these products.

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