Eisai, Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of the weight loss drug Belviq (lorcaserin) are facing at least a dozen lawsuits that have been filed nationwide by patients who used the medication and were diagnosed with cancer. In addition to these lawsuits, the companies are also facing a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Belviq users with cancer.
The Belviq lawsuits filed against Eisai and Arena allege that the companies knew about the link between the weight loss drug and an increased cancer risk before they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012. The FDA ordered the companies to recall Belviq in 2020 after additional research showed that patients who used the weight loss drug were more likely to be diagnosed with cancer.
FDA Recalled Belviq in 2020 Due to Increased Cancer Risk
Studies that were conducted before Belviq was approved by the FDA indicated that patients who used the weight loss drug may face an increased cancer risk. At the time, Eisai assured the agency that this increased cancer risk was only present in laboratory animals. Although the FDA approved Belviq and allowed Eisai to begin selling the drug, the agency ordered the company to perform additional studies in order to confirm that diet medication was safe.
In early 2020, the FDA received the results of these studies, which showed that Belviq users were more likely to develop colorectal, lung, and pancreatic cancer. Other studies have also linked the diet drug to an increase breast cancer and brain cancer risk.
In February 2020, the agency ordered Eisai and Arena to recall Belviq from the market due to this increased cancer risk. In November 2020, the FDA formally withdrew its approval of Belviq due to the increased cancer risk faced by patients who used the medication.
Lawsuits Filed by Belviq Users Diagnosed With Cancer
Shortly after Belviq was recalled by the FDA in February 2020, the first lawsuits by patients diagnosed with cancer after using the drug were filed against Eisai and Arena. These lawsuits alleged that the drugmakers knew about the increased cancer risk that Belviq users could face before the drug was approved by the FDA, but failed to alert the public, doctors, regulators, or patients about the dangers of the weight loss drug.
Currently, there are at least a dozen individual lawsuits that have been filed nationwide by patients who were diagnosed with cancer after using Belviq. In addition to these individual lawsuits, Eisai and Arena are also facing a class action lawsuit involving Belviq, which was filed in New York in 2020 on behalf of Belviq users nationwide who were diagnosed with cancer after using the diet drug.
Legal experts expect that many more lawsuits will eventually be filed by Belviq users with cancer against the two manufacturers of the drug. Because Belviq had been on the market since 2012, during which time it was used by hundreds of thousands of patients, the total number of Belviq lawsuits that are eventually filed could be much higher than the dozen cases that are already before the courts.
Belviq Users With Cancer May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
If you or a loved one used Belviq to help lose weight and have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, or other cancers linked to this medication, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. The first step in filing a claim is to speak with an experienced pharmaceutical liability attorney to find out whether you may be eligible to take legal action.
For more information about the Belviq lawsuits filed against Eisai and Arena, and to find out whether you qualify to file a claim, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend by calling our law firm toll-free at 1-866-210-5686. You can also reach us by filling out our free case evaluation form, which is located on the right side of this page for desktop users, and at the bottom of the page for mobile users.
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