When a prescription medication is associated with an increased risk of cancer or other serious diseases, victims deserve compensation for their injuries. Weight-loss medication Belviq and its extended release version Belviq XR have been linked to increased risk of certain forms of cancer. Boston product liability attorney Michael O. Smith and the other attorneys at Mass Injury Group are knowledgeable about cases involving defective products. We have many years of experience helping personal injury clients in Boston and the surrounding areas. Contact us to discuss your case and find out how we may be able to help you.
The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved prescription weight-loss drug lorcaserin for use by people with a body mass index (“BMI”) classified as obese and those with a BMI classified as overweight if they had also certain other weight-related comorbidities. Lorcaserin was sold under the brand name Belviq. An extended release form of the medication, sold under the brand name Belviq XR, was also approved in 2016.
Many people were excited to see the approval of a new weight loss drug, but there were safety concerns even at the time Belviq was approved. Other weight loss medications had been associated with serious health concerns, such as heart valve damage. When the FDA approved lorcaserin, it required the manufacturer to conduct a long-term clinical trial to evaluate risk of cardiovascular problems. The clinical trial, which included 12,000 people in multiple countries over a span of five years, did not find an increased risk of cardiovascular disease with use of the medication. Instead, it found a potential increased risk of certain cancers. More people in the group taking lorcaserin were diagnosed with cancer as compared to those in the placebo group. Pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancer occurred more frequently in the group that took lorcasein.
In January 2020, the FDA notified the public that the clinical trial showed a potential increased cancer risk associated with lorcaserin. Initially, the FDA advised patients to discuss the matter with their health care provider. It advised health care providers to weigh the benefits of the medication against its risks to decide whether patients should use it. The next month, however, the FDA asked the manufacturer, Eisai, Inc., to voluntarily withdraw the medication from the U.S. market. The FDA stated it believed the medication’s risks outweighed its benefits. In a notice to the public of the request for withdrawal, the FDA advised patients to stop taking the medication and discuss alternatives with their providers.
Drug manufacturers are responsible for adequately testing their products and correctly manufacturing and distributing them. Additionally, drug manufacturers are responsible for advising consumers about proper use and potential side effects. When they fail to do these things, they may be liable for the resulting injuries.
If you have been diagnosed with pancreatic, colorectal, lung cancer, or other cancers after taking Belviq, Belviq XR, or any other medication containing lorcaserin, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Recovery will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. In many cases, compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, and lost earning potential may be available.
Drug manufacturers who allow unsafe medications on the market should be held accountable. Anyone experiencing a pancreatic, colorectal, lung, or other cancer diagnosis after taking a lorcaserin medication should seek the guidance and counsel of a skilled Boston Belviq cancer lawsuit attorney. Attorney Michael O. Smith and the team of attorneys at Mass Injury Group provide caring and focused legal representation to product liability clients throughout the Boston area. You do not have to worry about up-front costs. Your case will be handled on a contingency basis, and the initial consultation is free. Please call us at (617) 263-0060 to set up your initial consultation, or contact us through our online form.
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