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Lipitor

In the body, food is broken down into sugar (glucose) and travels through the bloodstream. In a normal patient, the pancreas will release insulin in response to the in increase in glucose to reduce blood sugar levels and allow glucose to enter the body’s cells, thus providing them with the energy needed to function. Patients with type-2 diabetes however, cannot produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin well enough. As a result, glucose cannot enter the body’s cells and instead builds up in the blood, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. High levels of sugar in the blood can result in a number of serious health problems, including organ damage, cardiac arrest, or even death.

Did Lipitor Know About the Risks?
  • Patients and doctors were not adequately warned about the risk of developing type-2 diabetes with the use of Lipitor
  • Pfizer promoted Lipitor as safe and effective, despite knowing that it could elevate blood sugar levels and/or cause type-2 diabetes
  • Lipitor’s label never carried a warning that it could cause changes in blood sugar levels and/or type-2 diabetes, until the FDA requested a label change in February 2012
  • Even after the label change, Lipitor’s label still did not adequately warn patients about the risk of type-2 diabetes
  • Patients who developed diabetes due to Lipitor use are now required to undergo regular testing of their blood glucose levels, adhere to a strict diets, and take medication for the remainder of their lives
  • These patients are also at an increased risk for kidney disease, blindness, heart disease, and other complications of diabetes

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