Pfizer’s best-selling cholesterol drug, Lipitor, has generated over $125 billion in sales – partially due to the company’s advertisements touting a healthy lifestyle. However, Lipitor may not be so beneficial for women over 50 years old, as studies have shown that it increases their risk of developing Type II diabetes.
Study Shows Lipitor May Increase Risk of Diabetes by Nearly 10%
Pfizer has long maintained that Lipitor (atorvastatin) is safe and effective for lowering cholesterol and helping to prevent the risk of developing heart disease. However, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women over the age of 50 may actually be harmed by Lipitor.
Researchers reviewed the health data of more than 160,000 women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) between 1993 and 2005. What they found was that women between the ages of 50 and 79 with a Body Mass Index* (BMI) below 30 (meaning that they were not obese) who took Lipitor and other statins increased their risk of developing Type II diabetes by 9.9% within nine years. This figure represented more than a one-third increase in the risk of diabetes compared to women who did not take Lipitor or another statin.
*Note: BMI is a formula for measuring health and weight based on an individual’s weight in comparison to their height. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal weight, a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI over 30 is considered obese.
In 2012, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced that new warning labels would be added to Lipitor and other statin drugs about the increased risks of developing diabetes for women in this age group. The FDA has said that it based the warnings on studies that were available to Pfizer for years suggesting that Lipitor elevated blood sugar levels that may increase the risk of diabetes. However, the pharmaceutical giant never warned women about those risks.
Have You Been Injured by Lipitor?
If you are a woman between the ages of 50 and 79 who developed diabetes after taking Pfizer’s Lipitor, contact The Driscoll Firm, LLC, to discuss your situation and determine whether you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries, such as lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, medical monitoring and more. Our experienced product liability attorneys have recovered more than $170 million for clients. Let our experience help you.