Belviq Lawsuit

Campaign for Attorneys

Belviq and Belviq XR are weight-loss medications that help people who are struggling with obesity. These prescription drugs are supposed to give users a “full” feeling while they’re on a low-calorie diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this medication in 2012 and required Eisai, the drug company, to conduct clinical trials to determine its safety and efficacy. The FDA expressed concerns over the trial data they received, as the drug has now reportedly been linked to a variety of cancers.

Law firms can connect with victims who have developed cancer because of Belviq by contacting Broughton Partners, a legal marketing firm that provides attorneys with qualified Belviq claimants. Patients who have suffered harmful side effects after taking Belviq will be looking for a drug injury law firm for legal assistance. Broughton Partners connects personal injury law firms with retained Belviq plaintiffs and other drug injury victims. The retained plaintiffs we deliver to law firms are case-ready and pre-qualified.

What is Belviq?

Lorcaserin is the generic name for Belviq. This relatively expensive medication is prescribed by physicians to help patients lose weight, and to keep it maintained in individuals who are currently obese. Exercise and a low-calorie diet (if needed) are recommended in addition to the medication. The drug is also prescribed for people who have health issues related to their weight, such as high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, or high blood pressure. It’s classified as a serotonin-receptor agonist medication, which affects appetite by targeting certain chemicals inside a person’s brain. There are two forms of Belviq, including the traditional Belviq tablet or the extended-release tablet called Belviq XR.

FDA Recall

In February, the FDA requested that Belviq be pulled from American markets after clinical trials tied the drug to increased cancer rates. Tokyo-based Eisai Inc., submitted numerous voluntary requests to remove Belviq from the market.

Officials with the FDA believe that the cancer risks associated with Belviq are significant enough for them to call for the drug’s removal. Since Belviq was approved, researchers conducted a 5-year study to analyze the safety profile of the medication. The studies showed that around 7.7% of patients who took the drug were diagnosed with cancer, compared to the 7.1% who took placebos.

Belviq Linked to Cancer

Belviq and Belviq XR products were removed from the market after finding evidence they raised the risk of different forms of cancer.

Risk of Cancer

When lorcaserin was approved in 2012, Eisai, the drug manufacturer, was required by the FDA to conduct double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of random individuals to determine heart risks. Over the course of 5 years, roughly 12,000 individuals participated in this trial.
The results indicated that people who took lorcaserin developed cancer more often than those who took placebos. Placebos are inactive substances that contain no medicinal qualities. Numerous types of cancers had developed in people who used lorcaserin. Certain cancer types occurred more frequently, such as pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancers.
Consumers were notified of the results of the clinical trials that showed an increased cancer risk for individuals who take Belviq or Belviq XR. On February 14, 2020, the agency announced that it hadn’t determined conclusively that lorcaserin increases the risk of cancer. It does want to bring public awareness to the possible cancer risk that exists. The FDA believes it is in the public’s best interest to request the removal of the medication from the market.

The following types of cancer are linked to Belviq:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Brain Cancer

Side Effects of Belviq

The FDA recommends that anyone who is still taking Beviq or Beviq XR should stop taking the drug immediately, after research findings tied it to an increased risk for cancer. The medication also poses a number of other side effects and risks. This drug was approved specifically for patients who are obese with a BMI of 30 or higher, or are overweight with a BMI between 27 and 30, or patients who have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Side effects of Belviq include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

Belviq Lawsuit

Drug injury cases are currently being filed against the drug manufacturers Arena Pharmaceuticals and Eisai Inc. The lawsuits claim that both companies knew or were aware that Belviq had an increased cancer risk. Patients who took Belviq plan to file more lawsuits against the drug manufacturers.

The manufacturers of the drug have a legal and moral responsibility to perform research and to present the findings surrounding the possible risks. Claims that will be used against Eisai Inc. include:

  • Failure to conduct research on the side effects of Belviq and Belviq XR prior to introducing it to the market
  • Failure to conduct follow-up studies related to the cancer risks posed by Belviq
  • Overlooked evidence that linked Belviq to cancer
  • Provided misleading or false statements regarding the safety of the drug
  • Placed profits over consumer safety
  • Delayed issuing a recall of Belviq
  • Continued selling Belviq in spite of the health risks

2010

Arena’s first approval request for Belviq was rejected by the FDA as they required more evidence about the safety of the drug. The studies that were conducted showed that rodents had an increased risk of breast cancer and brain tumors after taking doses that were seven times stronger than humans would take.

2012

The FDA approved Belviq only after it required the drug manufacturer to conduct a placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of random individuals to assess the risk of cardiovascular issues, as drugs that were similar to Belviq had been linked to cardiovascular problems.

2012

Belviq was rejected by the European Medicines Agency over safety issues related to long-term health effects, citing that the limited benefits of the drug didn’t outweigh the risks.

January 14, 2020

An announcement was made by the FDA to alert the public of the results of a clinical trial that assessed the safety of the drug. The results indicated an increased cancer risk.

February 13, 2020

The maker of Belviq complied with the FDA to withdraw its Belviq, Belviq XR products from the American market. The drug manufacturer has also agreed to stop selling it.

References

Cheryl Platzman Weinstock. “Weighing Diet Drug Risks After Recalls”, AARP. Accessed April 8, 2020.

EJ Mundell. “Diet Drug Belviq Withdrawn Due to Cancer Risk”, WebMD. Accessed April 8, 2020.

Linda A. Johnson. “Weight Loss Drug Belviq Pulled From Market Over ‘Slight’ Cancer Risk”, Time. Accessed April 8, 2020.

Shelby Lin Erdman and Theresa Waldrop. “Drugmaker Eisai to withdraw weight loss drug Belviq after trials find cancer link”, CNN. Accessed April 8, 2020.

WebMD. “Belviq”, WebMD. Accessed April 8, 2020.

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