Louisiana court rejects Eisai, Arena motion to dismiss Belviq cancer lawsuit

At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed by Belviq users with cancer. More lawsuits are expected to be filed by lawyers involved in this litigation.

A Louisiana federal court has rejected a motion by Eisai and Arena Pharmaceuticals to dismiss a Belviq lawsuit filed by a woman who was diagnosed with cancer after using the diet drug. The case is one of numerous lawsuits that have been filed against the two drugmakers in the U.S. by patients who were prescribed Belviq (lorcaserin) for weight loss and later diagnosed with cancer.

According to her lawsuit, Stephanie Fuller used Belviq for about three months in the Fall of 2019 to help her lose weight. Eight months after she stopped taking the drug, Fuller was diagnosed with breast cancer. She filed a lawsuit against Eisai and Arena shortly thereafter in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The lawsuit alleged that Fuller’s breast cancer had been caused by using Belviq.

In September 2020, Eisai and Arena filed a motion with the Louisiana district court to dismiss Fuller’s lawsuit. The two drugmakers argued that Fuller’s claims regarding Belviq were not recognized under Louisiana product liability law, and that the allegations in her lawsuit had not been adequately pleaded in her filing.

In January 2021, the Eastern District court rejected Eisai and Arena’s motion to dismiss Fuller’s lawsuit against the two drug companies over Belviq. Although the court ruled that her lawsuit did not adequately allege manufacturing defects or breach of express warranty in connection with Belviq, the ruling stated that Fuller and her husband, who joined her in the lawsuit, will be allowed to move forward with their allegations that Belviq caused her to develop cancer.

Lawsuits Filed Against Belviq Following FDA Recall

Eisai and Arena are facing lawsuits in federal and state courts across the U.S. filed by patients who were diagnosed with cancer after taking the diet medication. Many of these lawsuits allege that the two drugmakers knew about the cancer risks associated with Belviq, but failed to properly warn consumers about the cancer risks they faced from using the medication.

Belviq and Belviq XR, an extended release version of the drug, were recalled by the FDA in February 2020 after studies showed that patients who used the two diet pills were more likely to be diagnosed with cancer. Patients taking Belviq have been shown to face an increased risk of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer.

In fact, the FDA had raised concerns about the cancer risk of using Belviq before the drug was even approved. Although the FDA eventually allowed Belviq and Belviq XR to go on the market, it ordered manufacturers to conduct safety trials even after the drug was being prescribed in order to make sure that the medication was safe. When the results of these safety trials confirmed that Belviq was linked to an increased cancer risk, the FDA ordered the drug to be recalled in the U.S.

Following the recall, the FDA also permanently withdrew its approval for Belviq and Belviq XR in the U.S. The agency stated that based on the clinical trial data for the two drugs, it was clear that the cancer risks associated with these medications outweighed any weight loss benefits they may provide for patients.

Free Legal Consultation for Belviq Users With Cancer

If you or a loved one were prescribed Belviq or Belviq XR to lose weight and have been diagnosed with cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your illness. The first step in taking legal action is to talk with an experienced pharmaceutical liability attorney, who can advise you regarding your legal rights and guide you through the first steps in filing a case.

For more information about filing a Belviq lawsuit and to learn whether you may qualify to take legal action, contact the law firm of Hissey, Mulderig & Friend to schedule your free legal consultation with one of our attorneys. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-210-5686, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located on the right side of this page.

After we receive your information, a member of our staff will contact you with any questions that we have and to schedule your consultation with our lawyers.

About the Author: Hissey, Mulderig & Friend