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Belviq Cancer Lawsuits

In 2019, the FDA announced that Belviq (lorcaserin), a weight-loss drug manufactured by Eisai Pharmaceutical, had been linked to an increased risk of several cancers.

While Belviq was not on the market for a long time, tens of thousands of people were still exposed to danger from this unsafe drug. By the time that the FDA requested that Eisai Pharmaceutical, the drug’s manufacturer, withdraw the drug from the market, consumers were exposed to an elevated risk of cancer, including:

  • Lung cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Breast cancer

If you have taken Belviq and have been diagnosed with any of these types of cancer, you should speak with an attorney about filing a lawsuit. Injured people are filing lawsuits in increasing numbers as more have become sickened by Belviq. You may be entitled to financial compensation if you took Belviq to lose weight and now have cancer. First, you need to talk to a lawyer, and we can connect you to that attorney.

Weight Loss Drugs Often Carry Danger for Unsuspecting Customers

For decades, every new weight loss drug has been marketed as the “next big thing.” The problem is that practically every new drug introduced to the market has been either dangerous or ineffective. Those with long enough memories can remember FenPhen, which became one of the largest drug lawsuits of all time after numerous people suffered heart attacks and cardiac damage. In that case, the drugmaker paid nearly $4 billion to settle lawsuits. Belviq never gained the loyal following that FenPhen had, but it is no less dangerous.

The FDA Rejected Belviq at First Before Barely Approving It

Belviq was supposed to be a safe and effective way to lose weight, but the product was doomed almost from the beginning. Even when the FDA approved the product, there were still serious safety concerns. One of the big worries at the outset was that Belviq could possibly cause cardiovascular events.

The FDA almost did not even approve the drug in the first place. The FDA was concerned about cancer, even when the drugmaker first applied for approval. Testing showed that Belviq caused tumors in lab rats. However, the drugmaker still continued with its application. The drugmakers claimed that the tumors happened only because of the unique biology of rodents and that the drug was completely safe for humans. After first rejecting Belviq’s initial application, the FDA approved the drug in 2012. Even still, four FDA panelists voted against the approval of Belviq.

Belviq Did Not Sell Much, But Enough People Were Harmed

Perhaps because safety issues scared people from the start. Belviq’s sales never got too far off the ground. In addition to the safety problems, there was also the fact that Belviq never really worked. Even the drugmakers’ own study numbers did not really show much weight loss. However, the people who put their trust in this drug may be paying a price today. Even if they have not yet been diagnosed with cancer, the hazardous effects of the drug may have built up in their bodies.

As part of the condition for approval by the FDA, the manufacturer was required to perform safety studies. This is where the concerns about cancer showed up in the numbers. Even before approval, the FDA was already worried that Belviq was shown to cause cancer in lab animals. Now, data showed increased cancer in humans. According to the number, for every 1,000 people taking Belviq, there were six additional cases of cancer. This was too much for the FDA, who said that the risks of Belviq “outweigh the benefits.”

After this data, the FDA had seen enough. The agency asked the drug’s manufacturer to pull the product from the market. Although Eisai cooperated with the FDA in taking the product out of circulation, the company “interprets the data differently” than the FDA. The diet drug that never lived up to anyone’s expectations is now no longer available.

You Can Sue the Makers of This Drug for a Defective Product

People who have taken Belviq and have been diagnosed with cancer have now begun to file lawsuits against Eisai and Arena Pharmaceutical (another company that developed a drug). These companies developed and sold a drug that everyone but the consumer seemed to know was dangerous. They pushed for FDA approval of a product that they knew was linked with cancer in some form. Once the drug was approved, they actively marketed and sold it to unsuspecting consumers. At one point, consumers were filling over 5,000 prescriptions per week of this weight loss drug.

We expect the number of lawsuits to grow in the future, given the number of people who took the drug. Even though the drug was far from a blockbuster, enough people were prescribed Belviq that this will develop into a larger lawsuit.

These cases are making the following allegations against the companies that made Belviq:

  • Designed a defective drug because it increased the risk that consumers would develop cancer
  • Knew of the dangers of Belviq but failed to warn consumers that they could get cancer from taking the drug
  • Sold a product that did not live up to warranties of safety
  • Did not use reasonable care in designing, promoting and selling Belviq

Your Damages in a Belviq Lawsuit

If you file a lawsuit and can prove any one of these, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This could include the following:

  • The costs of all of your medical bills
  • Lost wages from time that you missed from work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • If someone has died from cancer, their family could obtain wrongful death damages

Belviq cases are still very early in their lifecycle. The drug was just pulled from the market in 2020, and these cases can take years to settle or go to trial. Nonetheless, injured customers still have strict time deadlines to file their lawsuit. If you have been harmed by Belviq, you should speak with an attorney immediately. We can help connect you with an attorney that could discuss your case and explain your legal options. If you have taken Belviq, you should pay close attention to any symptoms and be proactively screened for cancer.