Lawyers in our firm are handling cases involving Lipitor causing diabetes in women. The litigation has been centralized in an MDL in Charleston, SC. Frank Woodson, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, is handling the litigation for the firm. Previously, we have not been accepting cases for men. Now, new medical research indicates this risk also applies to males.
In a study published in Diabetologia, scientists from Finland found that men prescribed statins to lower their cholesterol had a 46 percent greater chance of developing diabetes after six years compared to those who weren’t taking the drug. What’s more, the statins seemed to make people more resistant to the effects of insulin—which breaks down sugar—and to secrete less insulin. The higher the dose of the statin, and the longer the patients took it, the greater their risk of diabetes.
Previous studies have suggested that statins can raise blood sugar levels, and increase the risk of diabetes by anywhere from 10 to 20 percent. But none have documented an effect this large. Doctors often consider statins for patients who are at higher risk of heart disease. It’s well-documented that one of the risk factors for future heart trouble is diabetes. So how do these results affect the decision of whether to prescribe the use of statins?
The study referred to above involved only white men. Those who developed diabetes while taking statins were similar on many metabolic measures to those who developed diabetes but weren’t taking statins. This suggests that the “statin treatment increased the risk of diabetes independently of the risk profile of the background population,” the authors wrote.
In 2012, the statin manufacturers (except for Pravachol) placed the following language in their labels: “Increases in HbA1C and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported…. .” In light of all the evidence this is simply not enough. The clear evidence supports a warning for new onset diabetes to be included in the warning section of the labels. As long as there remains no warning for diabetes, we will continue to accept and review new cases for women who have been diagnosed with diabetes after using Lipitor. For questions about that litigation please contact Frank Woodson, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Frank.Woodson@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Time magazine
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