Mass tort cases are legal cases in which a large number of plaintiffs seek justice against a common source that caused each plaintiff the same or similar damages based on their actions. You have likely heard of mass tort cases revolving around the harmful side effects of products like 3M combat earplugs, Round-Up weed killer, and Zantac antacids. Much like the Zantac lawsuit, a recent mass tort revolving around harmful prescription drugs is the Belviq lawsuit. If you or a loved one took Belviq, Belviq XR, or another brand of lorcaserin and were diagnosed with cancer, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the drug’s manufacturer. But first, it’s important to understand exactly what this lawsuit entails, and how you might qualify for damages.
The History Behind Belviq
Belviq, which is the brand name for lorcaserin, is a popular prescription weight-loss drug. It’s sold and produced by Eisai, Inc. and was initially approved for distribution to U.S. markets by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012. The drug works by altering the brain’s chemical signals that are responsible for appetite. It increases the feelings of fullness in patients who take it, thereby helping them to lose weight. Belviq or lorcaserin are often prescribed by doctors as a weight-loss treatment combined with diet and exercise, aiding adults who are overweight, obese, or suffering weight-related medical issues. These can include conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Both Belviq and Belviq XR serve the same weight-loss purposes, with Belviq XR acting as an extended-release form of lorcaserin.
A series of 2007 studies done on lab rats prior to Belviq’s wide release hinted that Belviq could be the cause of various forms of cancer. These studies showed that lorcaserin created aggressive tumors in the rats, but despite those shocking results, Eisai resubmitted their application for lorcaserin as Belviq, and the FDA approved its use for patients with weight-related health conditions. With their approval, the FDA also stipulated that Eisai must conduct long-term clinical studies to asses any risks associated with Belviq. Eisai complied, but the drug was already being heavily marketed and prescribed to patients across the country.
Since 2012, Belviq has been linked to a number of dangerous side effects, the most pressing of them being an increased risk of cancer. FDA researchers who conducted their own studies on 12,000 patients found that those taking Belviq were more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than those not taking it. They also concluded that the longer a person used Belviq, the greater their risk of developing cancer. The most common forms of cancer these patients developed were pancreatic, colorectal, lung, breast, and brain cancers.
The Current State of the Belviq Lawsuit
In January 2020, the FDA issued a voluntary recall of all Belviq and lorcaserin products after discovering the extent of their harm on patients taking them. Eisai has since complied with the pull from shelves, but at this point, it may be too little, too late.
The initial plaintiffs filing the lawsuit believe that had the FDA been given a clearer, more honest assessment of those initial lab tests that caused cancer in rats, they never would have approved the drug to go to market back in 2012. And now, thousands of plaintiffs are coming forward in a mass tort lawsuit against Eisai for moving forward with selling such a harmful product while knowing its potential side effects. But it’s believed there are actually hundreds of thousands of people across the country who have taken Belviq and may have been put at risk. This mass lawsuit seeks damages for alleged deceptive acts, false advertising, unjust enrichment, fraud, and conversion, or intentional interference with the life of another person.
The widespread use of such a product means that this mass tort lawsuit will likely take years to complete as more and more victims come forward to seek damages. It’s a long road ahead in the fight against those responsible for causing harm to so many, but it’s a road worth walking.
You May Qualify to File a Belviq Lawsuit
Patients who took Belviq, Belviq XR, or another form of locaserin and developed cancer or other adverse side effects may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Eisai. Other Belviq side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Slowed thinking
- Muscle pain
- Swelling in extremities
Patients with diabetes who take locaserin may also experience back pain, coughing, and hypoglycemia as a result of taking the drug.
If any of the above scenarios and symptoms seem to align with you or someone you know, first it’s imperative to make sure you stop taking Belviq or locaserin immediately if you haven’t already. Next, in conjunction with getting the medical care and treatment you may now need, you should also seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney like The Whisler Law Firm to review your case and potentially help you file your lawsuit. In the unfortunate event that a loved one has died as a result of the cancer caused by Belviq, you can also file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our experienced team can help you seek damages such as:
- Medical expenses for your treatment.
- Pain and suffering caused by cancer, treatments, and your recovery period. This includes both physical and mental suffering.
- Loss of wages or earning capabilities if your cancer has prevented you from returning to work or diminished your capability to work.
- Loss of enjoyment of life as a result of your damages.
- A variety of other punitive and compensatory damages to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
We want to help you hold those responsible for your harm accountable for their actions. But more than that, we want to help you recover the compensation you deserve for the life-changing damage you’ve suffered. Our legal team works on a contingency basis, meaning that if we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing for our services. So call our office at 833-529-5677, or request an entirely free consultation and we’ll review your case and discuss your options with you.