Patients taking the weight loss drug Belviq prior to the recent FDA recall are asking how the manufacturer sold the drug for nearly eight years in the United States while knowing it had potential cancer risks.
Now, lawsuits are heating up around the country on two fronts: first, a proposed class action on behalf of those who were put at risk; and second, injury lawsuits for those diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq.
In the current environment where more than 20,000 prescription drugs are approved by the FDA to be on the market, it isn’t surprising that cases arise of unintended side effects after years of public use.
However, it is the rare and more troubling situation, as with Belviq, when data shows possible health risks of a medication even before it is released, only to have the manufacturer push it to market regardless.
As early as September of 2010, when drug maker Eisai first asked the FDA for approval of Belviq, there were signs of danger ahead. An FDA advisory panel voted squarely against it over safety concerns, based on prior studies that found tumor growth in rodents.
However, after presenting their studies in a different light, Eisai was able to get FDA approval of Belviq in June of 2012. This, however, came only on the condition that the drug only prescribed to certain patients and if the company would continue to study its safety.
Now, although such trivial details like cancer risks weren’t disclosed to the public, it came as little surprise to insiders when those same studies the FDA required came back to show Belviq did, in fact, have higher cancer risks.
In October of 2018, it was first reported that patients taking Belviq have an 8% higher chance of developing certain cancers in the CAMELLIA–TIMI 61 study.
The FDA released a public warning of these cancer risks in January of this year. Then, on February 13th, they officially ordered Eisai to recall Belviq from the market.
In the FDA advisory and recall, they cite clinical data showing patients taking Belviq had an 8% higher occurrence of certain cancers. A large number of these included:
And while patients taking Belviq face risks of other cancer types, these three unfortunately rank 1st, 2nd and 4th among the deadliest of all cases, with a combined yearly death toll of over 250,000 victims.
With the FDAs own records proving Eisai knew of the cancer risks of Belviq as early as 2010, it is no surprise that victims are upset with being misled, and searching for legal resolution.
Lawyers believe the drug maker faces substantial liability to those affected based on the sale of a dangerous product, failing to warn of the risks, and concealment of the safety issues.
First, lawyers are helping anyone who lost a loved one or who was diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq file injury or death claims. As these cases continue to grow, they are likely to be consolidated to a special federal Multidistrict Litigation court for quicker handling.
Secondly, lawyers have recently sought to establish a Belviq class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of patients who took Belviq, even if they haven’t been diagnosed with cancer, based on the actions of Eisai that put them at risk.
At DrugNews, our lawyers are actively helping those patients diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq, and are available to speak directly about your case today. However, it is important to learn about your options as soon as possible, as the time to file a lawsuit is limited.
Contact us for more information or to see how we can help.
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