LawFuel Class Action News – Plaintiffs From Seven States Bring Suits in New York Alleging Pfizer Failed to Adequately Warn Physicians and Patients About Serious Health Risks Tied to Lipitor; Claimants Include Pharmaceutical Rep, Long-Haul Truck Driver and Former New York State Supreme Court Clerk; Plaintiffs Attribute Peripheral Neuropathy and Memory Loss Among Other Impairments to Lipitor Usage
NEW YORK, Sept. 8 LAWFUEL – Class Actions News – A third round of personal injury
lawsuits has been filed against Pfizer Inc., charging the giant drug
company with concealing serious and permanent health risks associated with the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor. Nineteen similar personal injury lawsuits were filed against the company in recent months.
The new suits — 10 in all — accuse Pfizer of deceptive marketing
practices and allege that the company promoted Lipitor as a safe drug with
minimal health risks while failing to adequately warn physicians and
patients of Lipitor’s more dangerous side effects, including nerve damage, memory loss and other cognitive impairments. The lawsuits contend that Lipitor is defectively designed and lacks adequate patient warnings as to its potential cognitive and neuromuscular dangers.
The lawsuits, all filed in New York State Supreme Court on September 7, were brought on behalf of plaintiffs from Delaware, Georgia, Idaho,
Illinois, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina. More filings are
expected in coming months.
“Pfizer continues to actively promote Lipitor as a safe drug, despite
knowing the serious and sometimes permanent health risks it can cause —
risks that Pfizer was well aware of from its own clinical studies of
Lipitor use,” said attorney Mark Jay Krum, who represents the 29
The aggressive marketing of Lipitor, Pfizer’s single most successful
prescription drug, has helped secure its status as the best-selling drug in the world, with sales exceeding $12 billion in 2005. Pfizer has recently
taken out full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal and other national
publications touting Lipitor as a safe way to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
“The lawsuits do not challenge Lipitor’s effectiveness in lowering
cholesterol levels, nor do they contend that the drug is unsafe for all
patients,” Attorney Krum said. “Rather, the suits charge that Pfizer has
failed to adequately warn both doctors and consumers of Lipitor’s more
serious and sometimes permanent heath risks.”
Lipitor, a statin first approved by the Food & Drug Administration in
1996, may reduce cholesterol levels by blocking the body’s production of an enzyme needed to produce cholesterol. By reducing low-density lipoprotein
(“LDL”) levels, statins are promoted for their ability to delay the onset
of coronary heart disease. However, in addition to their intended effects
in lowering LDL levels, statins such as Lipitor are known to adversely
affect vital metabolic functions sharing the cholesterol biosynthetic
The complaints allege that despite receiving two letters since 2001
from the FDA expressing concerns that Lipitor’s marketing materials were
misleading and did not reflect the heath risks the drug poses, Pfizer
promoted the drug as virtually symptom free, stating on its Web site: “In
fact, in some clinical studies, Lipitor has been proven to be as safe as
taking a sugar pill.”
Mr. Krum filed the first two personal injury suits against Pfizer on
June 7, 2006. At a news conference in New York, the original two plaintiffs were joined by individuals from around the U.S. who described experiencing similar serious health problems which they attribute to Lipitor use, as well as by several physicians who warned of the serious, adverse side
effects of statin drugs. A second series of suits, 17 in all, were filed on July 14, 2006.
In March, Pfizer was also sued by a group of union and employee
insurance plans who charged the company with fraudulently marketing Lipitor for off-label uses not approved by FDA protocols for cholesterol treatment, which has resulted in billions of dollars in unnecessary prescriptions for the drug.
For more information on the Lipitor litigation, go to
Please let us know if you’d like a copy of the new complaints or would like to speak with Mr. Krum. Several of the plaintiffs may be available to talk about their own adverse experiences with Lipitor.