At least a thousand Lipitor lawsuits have already been filed as part of a South Carolina multidistrict litigation. Plaintiffs in Lipitor lawsuits claim pharmaceutical giant Pfizer marketed its cholesterol drug without regard for the safety of patients, concealing information about the link between Lipitor and diabetes. As Lipitor lawsuits continue to pour in, many are wondering just how large the litigation will grow. The lead lawyer appointed to represent Lipitor plaintiffs in federal court has a prediction: 10,000. That’s right—the Lipitor multidistrict litigation is expected to increase as much as tenfold before all is said and done.
It seems only fitting that the world’s best selling drug should entail one of the largest pharmaceutical multidistrict litigations in history. Between its introduction in 1996 and the expiry of Pfizer’s patent in 2009, Lipitor grossed over $130 billion dollars. But many Lipitor plaintiffs claim these sales were made by a company that cared more about profits than patient health. Lipitor lawsuits started cropping up shortly after a 2012 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) communication warned that Lipitor and other statins may increase users’ risk of diabetes.
The FDA’s announcement came in the midst of various other studies linking statins such as Lipitor to a greater chance of diabetes. For example, a 2012 study found statins led to increased incidence of type 2 diabetes, particularly in postmenopausal women; and a Canadian study published the following year found Lipitor responsible for the greatest increase in diabetes risk among the six statins tested. On top of diabetes, Lipitor has also been linked to cardiovascular and musculoskeletal problems.
One South Carolina lawyer who will represent Lipitor plaintiffs when federal cases go to trial, is quoted in a Reuters article as saying there are nearly 1,000 Lipitor lawsuit currently filed—and that was over a year ago. Some estimate up to 1,000 more have since been entered into the multidistrict litigation. Whatever the exact number, it is no secret that Lipitor lawsuits continue to be filed, with at least 40 centralized in the last week alone.
The first Lipitor lawsuit is slated for trial on November 4. Lipitor plaintiffs will no doubt be eager to find out how this bellwether trial fares, as the results will help determine the fate of other pending Lipitor lawsuits.