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Plaintiffs Seek Consolidation of Belviq Cancer Claims

06/23/2021
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As reported by www.aboutlawsuits.com, plaintiffs in multiple Belviq cancer lawsuits seek consolidation of all claims, arguing that the number of complaints to be filed will dramatically increase. At least thirteen Belviq lawsuits have been filed in federal courts all over the country, all of which involve the same allegations and same general facts.

Lawsuits involving defective drugs or medical devices often reach the hundreds or thousands, and in some cases, tens of thousands, if not more. Although the number of Belviq cancer lawsuits is still relatively low, increased awareness of the link between Belviq and the development of cancer will contribute to an increase in lawsuits.

As such, plaintiffs are seeking consolidation of federal lawsuits in one multi-district litigation (MDL) and have filed a joint motion to transfer all pending Belviq cancer lawsuits to the Eastern District of Louisiana. The motion was filed on April 12, 2021.

The United States Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will ultimately determine (1) whether an MDL will be created for the Belviq cancer litigation, and (2) where the MDL court will be if one is created. It is not uncommon for the JPML to choose a court that is different than the one preferred by either plaintiffs or defendant(s) in a large nationwide litigation.

The JPML will likely hear arguments from attorneys for both plaintiffs and the defendant(s), with a ruling expected later this summer. In the meantime, plaintiffs are expected to continue filing Belviq cancer lawsuits throughout the country.

The 2019 Belviq Trial Studying Cardiovascular Risks

Belviq (lorcaserin) is a diet drug that was approved in 2012 specifically for the purpose of helping patients lose weight. However, many overweight or obese patients are also at risk of developing diabetes. As such, many patients took Belviq as a means to prevent diabetes (while also making some lifestyle changes).

Concerns over the use of Belviq to prevent diabetes led to the creation of the “Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects of Lorcaserin in Overweight and Obese Patients – Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 61 (CAMELLIA-TIMI 61)” trial. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) often requires that drug companies perform post-market studies to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a drug for particular use. 

The CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial, conducted in 2019, involved 12,000 overweight or obese patients who suffered from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or had multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Some patients were given Belviq and others were given a placebo. The patients were followed over a period of 5 years.

The study’s overall conclusion was that Belviq is not the best drug to be used for diabetes prevention (although some patients may have success). Although the study was focused on cardiovascular risks associated with Belviq and whether the drug is safe and efficacious for diabetes prevention, the study shed light on a potential cancer risk that was not made public by the FDA until 2020.

The 2020 Recall of Belviq Following Discovery of Cancer Risk

Following the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial, the FDA issued a public health notification to warn patients and healthcare providers that the results of the clinical trial reveal a “possible increased risk of cancer with the weight management medicine Belviq, Belviq XR (lorcaserin).” Just one month later, the FDA issued a recall of Belviq, stating that the “potential risk of cancer outweighs the benefits” of taking the weight loss drug.

Had the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 study not been conducted, patients may still be taking Belviq today, and while the study pertained to potential cardiovascular risks, the results reveal that a cancer risk exists among the approximately 6,000 patients who were given Belviq (as the other half of study participants were given a placebo).

Data gathered from the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial identified that patients taking Belviq have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. Such data was simply too much for the FDA to allow Belviq to remain on the market.

Seeking Recovery for Belviq Cancer Victims

Between 2012 and 2020, patients seeking to lose weight relied on their doctors and the manufacturer of Belviq, that the drug was safe for use as a weight loss drug. Patients were not warned by anyone – neither a healthcare provider nor the drug’s manufacturer – that the development of cancer was a risk of taking the drug.

Given that a study concerning potential cardiovascular risks associated with Belviq uncovered a deadly cancer risk, it seems incomprehensible that the manufacturer of the drug, Eiasi, Inc., would not have known of the cancer risk. All too common, drug companies act surprised to learn a drug that they manufacture and sell has a significant health concern.

For eight years, Belviq’s manufacturer allowed the drug to remain on the market. For eight years, Belviq’s manufacturer failed to warn doctors that the drug carries a cancer risk. And for eight years, patients relied on both their doctors and Belviq’s manufacturer when choosing to take the drug. Undoubtedly, had either doctors or patients known about the cancer risk associated with Belviq, the drug would likely not be prescribed.

The consequences of facing a cancer diagnosis and the prospects of undergoing extensive cancer treatment are immense and life-altering. No person deserves to suffer from cancer, and no person deserves to be a victim of unconscionable acts on behalf of a drug manufacturer. While a Belviq cancer lawyer cannot turn back time, they can help the thousands of patients who have suffered at the hands of a company seeking to make its projected billions year after year.

Contact a Belviq Cancer Lawyer at Searcy Denney Today

If you or a loved one took the weight loss drug, Belviq, and subsequently were diagnosed with cancer, you should consider speaking with a Belviq cancer lawyer right away to find out if you may have a legal claim. Cancer is a catastrophic and permanent injury that no person deserves to suffer.

At Searcy Denney, our team of Belviq cancer lawyers have devoted their careers to fighting drug companies that design, market, and sell dangerous and defective drugs. Allow a member of our legal team to provide you with a free case evaluation. Contact Searcy Denney today by calling (800) 780-8607 or by completing a case inquiry form on our website.

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