Jon Campisi Apr. 21, 2014, 12:56pm


Pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer is named as a defendant in a civil suit

by an out-of-state plaintiff who claims she developed type 2 diabetes as a result of taking the cholesterol drug Lipitor.

Louisiana resident Mary Hoover filed suit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia over allegations that she suffered injuries due to her ingestion of Lipitor from 2006 through 2012.

Hoover, the suit states, was prescribed the drug to lower her levels of low-density lipoprotein and as a primary prevention measure to decrease her risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

She was reportedly “very healthy” prior to taking Lipitor.

“In keeping with her healthy and proactive lifestyle, Plaintiff, Mary Hoover, agreed to initiate Lipitor treatment in an effort to reduce her risk of developing heart disease,” the complaint reads.

Hoover, however, ended up being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the spring of 2013.

As a result of her diagnosis, the plaintiff must, for the rest of her life, undergo regular testing of her blood glucose levels, adhere to a restrictive diet and take medication to control her diabetes.

Because of her diabetes, the lawsuit says, Hoover is also now at “markedly increased risk of heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney disease.”

The lawsuit accuses Pfizer of failing to properly disclose the risks associated with Lipitor use.

Had Hoover been aware of the risks, the suit says, Hoover would have avoided the risk of diabetes by either not using Lipitor at all or by closely monitoring her blood glucose levels to see if the drug was adversely affecting her metabolism.

Lipitor is a medication designed to reduce the amount of cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood.

The complaint alleges that the defendant was aware the drug was linked to development of diabetes, but that it did not properly divulge this information to doctors and patients.

Until a February 2012 packaging label change, Pfizer never warned consumers of any potential relationship between changes in blood sugar and Lipitor ingestion, according to the complaint.

And despite the 2012 action, Lipitor’s label continued to fail to warn consumers of the serious risk of developing type 2 diabetes when using the drug, the suit says.

“At all times material hereto, Defendant knew or should have known that the risks of Lipitor included the severe and life-threatening complications of type 2 diabetes,” the complaint reads.

Lipitor, the suit states, represented about 25 percent of Pfizer’s annual revenue between 2001 and 2011.

The suit contains counts of product liability, negligence, breach of warranty, fraud, constructive fraud and unjust enrichment.

Hoover seeks unspecified monetary damages, as well as damages relating to medical expenses, interest, attorney’s fees, punitive damages and a full refund of all purchase costs the plaintiff paid for Lipitor.

The complaint was filed on April 17 by Philadelphia attorney Joshua M. Mankoff of the firm Lopez McHugh LLP.

 

The federal case number is 2:14-cv-02251-PD.

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