Consumers who used the weight loss drugs Belviq or Belviq XR and were diagnosed with cancer may qualify to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their illness. Several lawsuits by patients who were diagnosed with cancer have been filed against Eisai Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals — the manufacturers of Belviq — after the weight loss drug was recalled by the FDA.
FDA Links Belviq to Increased Cancer Risk
Belviq and Belviq XR were approved by the FDA in 2012 to help patients lose weight in combination with diet and exercise. It was the first time that the agency had approved a prescription weight loss drug since the recall of Fen-Phen and Redux in the late 90s.
At the time that the FDA approved Belviq and Belviq XR, the agency expressed concerns about the potential cancer risks of the two drugs. Studies that were conducted during the approval process had linked Belviq to an increased risk of cancer in laboratory animals. After Arena Pharmaceuticals told the FDA that the risk of developing cancer was unique to lab animals, the weight loss drugs were approved for prescription use. But the FDA ordered Arena to conduct additional testing to ensure that Belviq did not cause cancer in humans.
In February 2020, the FDA received the first results from these clinical trials. The results showed that Belviq was indeed linked to an increased cancer risk, including colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer. When the complete results of these Belviq clinical trials arrived a few weeks later — and again confirmed the increased cancer risks associated with the drugs — the FDA ordered Eisai to recall the drug in the U.S.
FDA Advises Belviq Users to Stop Taking the Weight Loss Drug
When the FDA announced that Belviq was being recalled, the agency advised patients to stop using the weight loss drug because of the increased cancer risk they could face. The agency advised patients to safely dispose of any Belviq pills they still had in their homes, and to consult with a doctor about alternative weight loss treatments.
The FDA also advised doctors to stop prescribing Belviq and Belviq XR to patients because of the evidence that this could increase their chances of being diagnosed with cancer. Doctors were also instructed to advise their patients about the potential dangers of Belviq, and to ask them to stop taking the medication and consider alternative weight loss strategies.
Lawsuits Filed by Belviq Users With Cancer
In the months following the Belviq recall, several lawsuits have been filed against Eisai and Arena Pharmaceuticals by patients who developed cancer after using the weight loss drugs. According to these lawsuits, the drugmakers knew about the increased cancer risk associated with Belviq before the drug was approved by the FDA, but failed to properly warn doctors and patients about these risks.
Eisai and Arena are also facing a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Belviq users who may require medical monitoring because of the cancer risks they now face from taking the drug. This class action is seeking to have Eisai and Arena pay for the costs of monitoring for Belviq users who may now face an increased cancer risk, as well as reimbursement for the costs they paid for the drug.
Find Out If You Qualify to File a Belviq Lawsuit
If you or a loved one were prescribed Belviq or Belviq XR and have been diagnosed with colorectal, lung, or pancreatic cancer, or other types of cancer, you may qualify to take legal action.
To learn more information about filing a Belviq lawsuit — and to find out whether you may be eligible — contact the law firm of Hissey, Mulderig & Friend for a free legal consultation from an attorney. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-210-5686, or by filling out our free online case evaluation form located on the right side of this page. After we receive your information, one of our staff members will contact you for additional information to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.