On February 13, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a voluntary recall of the drug Belviq by manufacturer Eisai, Inc. after studies found elevated cancer risks among those taking it.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq regularly, please contact our Belviq recall lawyer Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC immediately to discuss your case. We are committed to seeking justice on behalf of all those who have been seriously injured due to the negligent actions of drug manufacturers. We also take case nationwide, no matter where you live our class action law firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Commonly Asked Questions:
- What is Belviq?
- Are There Different Types of Belviq?
- Why Was Belviq Recalled?
- What Should Patients Do After the Recall?
- Who Qualifies for a Belviq Lawsuit?
Why Choose Our Belviq Lawsuit Attorney?
The Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC provides exceptional representation to all those who have been harmed by the negligence of drug manufacturers.
- We have more than 20 years of experience representing clients in dangerous and defective drug cases.
- We specialize in mass tort cases, helping multiple injured victims seek compensation and justice for the negligence of one large business – usually a drug manufacturer.
- We have a reputation for results, securing millions of dollars in total verdicts and settlements for thousands of clients.
- Our Belviq cancer lawsuit lawyer is committed to your needs, engaging in constant communications and advising you of the proper course of action to take against negligent drug manufacturers.
What is Belviq and How Does it Work?
Belviq (Lorcaserin) is a prescription-only medication, manufactured by Eisai, Inc. and approved by the FDA in 2012. It was primarily prescribed for overweight and obese patients struggling to lose weight.
Its active ingredient, lorcaserin, facilitated weight loss in patients by altering signals in the brain that trigger appetite and hunger. These simple chemical changes increased feelings of fullness among patients – convincing them to reduce caloric intake and consume much less than they normally would.
Are There Different Types of Belviq?
Belviq was available to patients in two different forms:
- Belviq XR
The standard form of Belviq was a 10mg tablet that patients were to take twice a day, while Belviq XR was their extended-release version, a much higher dose than required only a single daily dose.
Why Was Belviq Recalled?
On January 14, 2020, the FDA issued a warning against Eisai, Inc., stating that preliminary research had found that regular use of Belviq may be associated with a higher risk of developing certain type of cancers. After a more comprehensive look at the research, the FDA concluded that the elevated risk of cancer from Belviq outweighed any potential benefits the drug may have had. Therefore, on February 13, the FDA officially asked for a voluntary recall of the drug from shelves.
Is Belviq Dangerous?
It is important to note that the FDA had already expressed concerns about the safety of Belviq prior to its approval. In 2007, Eisai found that testing Belviq on rats resulted in an increased rate of tumors. Despite these results, the FDA went forward with approval – but only on the condition that the manufacturer continue testing to further monitor and verify its safety.
The manufacturer complied with a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 12,000 participants – held initially to test for the risk of any heart-related problems. Some of the participants were given Belviq, while others were given a placebo.
What Cancers Are Linked to Belviq (Lorcaserin)?
According to the findings, those who were administered Belviq had a much higher chance of developing certain cancers compared to those taking a placebo. This includes:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
Further, researchers found that the longer a patient took Belviq, the higher the risk was for developing these cancers. Upon reviewing the data, the FDA determined that the risks outweighed the benefits, and asked for the voluntary recall. In addition, they advised healthcare professionals to stop prescribing the medication to newer patients, while also contacting previous Belviq users of the new recall.
Other Health Risks Associated with Belviq Use
Prior to these increased cancer risks being known, use of Belviq already came with a long list of side effects – but this may have been due to the fact that patients prescribed Belviq were already in a higher risk group. Both Belviq and Belviq XR were only approved for use on patients who:
- Were considered clinically obese (a BMI of 30 or more), or
- Were overweight (BMI of 27-30) with at least one weight-associated health condition, such as diabetes or hypertension.
The side effects of Belviq include:
- Dry mouth
- Back pain
If you experience any of these side effects, the FDA recommends reporting any online to their MedWatch platform.
What Should Patients Do After the Recall?
The FDA recommended that all patients who still have Belviq should stop taking it immediately. If you are a patient who has previously taken Belviq, it is recommended to consult your doctor or other healthcare professional immediately to discuss any alternative weight-loss solutions.
Additionally, the FDA recommends that patients in possession of Belviq dispose of it immediately in a safe manner. According to their recommendations, it is best to dispose of remaining doses at a drug take back location. However, if this is not practical, you may also dispose of any Belviq in your standard trash as follows:
- Mix pills with any unappetizing substance, such as cat litter or dirt
- Do NOT crush the pills to minimize environmental contamination
- Place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag
- Throw the bag away in your household garbage
Who Qualifies for a Belviq Recall Lawsuit?
You may qualify for civil recourse from Eisai if you:
- Have taken Belviq or Belviq XR regularly for at least 3 months.
- Were diagnosed with pancreatic, colorectal, or lung cancers at least 6 months after your first use of the drug.
- Were younger than 60 years old at the time of the cancer diagnosis.
If you meet all of these criteria, it is crucial to speak with a Belviq cancer attorney today to discuss any possibilities for compensation. Even if you do not meet all of these criteria, it may be useful to discuss your situation with an attorney to determine if there is any legal recourse.
Did You Develop Cancer From Belviq?
If you have been diagnosed with pancreatic, colorectal, or lung cancers after regular use of Belviq or Belviq XR, you may be eligible for significant compensation by Eisai, Inc., the manufacturer. When we have prescribed a drug to treat a health problem, we trust that all relevant parties have done their best to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their patients. However, in the case of Belviq, that clearly did not occur.
The initial trials prior to the approval of Belviq should have been a red flag to Eisai, Inc., indicating that further studies may be done before pushing for approval. However, despite the concerning data, Eisai, Inc. continued to lobby for FDA approval of the drug, understating the risks associated with the drug. And although they agreed to continue long-term clinical trials of Belviq, it took five years to finally pull the drug from shelves – and the damage had already been done.
We believe Eisai’s actions through this process are grossly negligent. It is clear that they put their own best interests ahead of their clients’, capitalizing on their misfortunes to benefit their own bottom line. For this reason, we believe that Eisai may be fully liable for any damages that have occurred due to Belviq and its continued use by patients who were simply looking for help.
What Are My Legal Options for a Belviq Lawsuit?
Because of the negligent actions of Eisai, Inc. have likely caused significant harm in multiple patients, it may make the most sense to file a mass tort on behalf of multiple plaintiffs. However, it is important to know that there are two different types of mass tort actions: multidistrict litigation and a class action lawsuit.
- A multidistrict litigation (MDL) allows multiple plaintiffs to file individual lawsuits against one company – in this case, Eisai. They are temporarily consolidated in federal court for pretrial proceedings, and then they are sent to their own respective courts for individual rulings. Each client given an individual case and trial, and verdicts or settlements are conducted on a case-by-case basis.
- A class action lawsuit enables multiple people to file one collective lawsuit against one company. To this effect, the group of people acts has one singular plaintiff against the liable manufacturer, and is considered one single case or trial. In the case that a favorable verdict or settlement is reached, it is divided equally among all plaintiffs involved in the suit.
Because each mass tort action has its own distinct advantages, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney first before proceeding with a claim. In the case of Eisai and Belviq, it may be recommended to pursue a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer – but that depends on a number of circumstances to your case.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Belviq Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one is pursuing compensation via a Belviq cancer lawsuit, an experienced lawyer is absolutely required in order to maximize your chances for success. Defective drug lawsuits against large pharmaceutical companies are notoriously difficult to litigate without the experience and knowledge necessary in a legal capacity.
An attorney has the resources to explore all your options for compensation, and the experience to know which one may give you the best chances of securing the maximum possible compensation you deserve. Additionally, an attorney can give you an idea of what to expect in a drug recall lawsuit, giving you peace of mind and a reassuring ally on your side for justice.
Is Your Belviq Case a Class Action or Individual Lawsuit?
Belviq lawsuits fall under the category of product liability, specifically dangerous and defective drugs. The purpose of these lawsuits is to allow victims to recover compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial losses they suffered due to the dangerous drug. In the case of Belviq lawsuit, these damages stem from the colon, pancreatic, and lung cancer the weight loss medication causes.
Since many former Belviq patients across the country are filing claims against Eisai, Inc. for their cancer diagnoses, you may wonder if your lawsuit would be individual, or part of a class action or MDL.
Dangerous drug claims may fall under any of the following types of legal action.
- Individual lawsuits are filed by one plaintiff against a defendant or group of defendants. The plaintiff will need to establish that the defective medication caused his or her injuries and subsequent damages, and the court will establish whether or not to award the plaintiff a settlement. At the conclusion of the case, the court will award the full settlement to the plaintiff.
- Class action lawsuits are filed by multiple plaintiffs against a defendant or group of defendants over the same product defect. The group of plaintiffs is referred to as the class, and the individuals who actually file the claim are known as the lead plaintiffs. Other injured people who may not want to be involved with the claim directly may join the lawsuit as well. At the conclusion of the lawsuit, the court divides the settlement equally between all plaintiffs in the case.
- As discussed earlier, an MDL is a federal procedure that aims to consolidate a series of similar claims to save court resources and streamline the settlement process. Like a class action, a group of plaintiffs file a lawsuit against a defendant or group of defendants over the same product defect. However, the court will divide the damages in the claim based on each plaintiffs’ specific damages, not evenly. The court will also hear each plaintiff individually, rather than a group of lead plaintiffs who act on behalf of the entire injured population.
Belviq litigation is still in its early stages, so it can be difficult to determine which direction your case will proceed. Based on current trends, your lawsuit will likely be an individual claim against Eisai, Inc. Since Belviq-related cancer has potentially impacted hundreds of former patients, your claim may transition into a lawsuit involving multiple plaintiffs.
Your individual Belviq lawsuit may transition into a MDL in federal court. Your attorney may also file your case as part of an existing MDL. Depending on where you live, you may also be subject to a similar action on the state level, such as Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings (JCCPs) in California.
Understanding the class action, MDL, and individual lawsuit processes can be difficult without an attorney on your side. The lawyers at Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC have handled thousands of MDL claims as well as individual lawsuits in multiple states across the country. We can guide you through the claims process, help you prepare for each stage of your case, and advocate for your best interests regardless of the type of Belviq lawsuit you are pursuing.
How Can Our Belviq Lawsuit Attorney Help?
Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC is exceptionally equipped to assist any patients who have suffered cancer due to regular Belviq use. Our Belviq attorneys specialize in mass tort claims for defective drugs and dangerous medical devices – we understand the processes and procedures needed to secure compensation from a negligent drug manufacturer such as Eisai. We understand that this can be an incredibly stressful time for you and your family, so we take the burden of the litigation process off your shoulders by:
- Listening to your case and forming a comprehensive legal strategy based on your needs
- Gathering all the evidence necessary to substantiate your claim
- Consulting with medical professionals and other expert witnesses
- Determining the full value of your claim so that you receive the maximum possible compensation you deserve
- Finding other patients who may share your experience, and exploring the best mass tort options based on your needs
- Fighting on your behalf in the courtroom to secure the compensation necessary for your family
Your wellbeing is our first priority – and our Belviq recall lawyer is committed to fighting for the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Contact Our Belviq Cancer Lawsuit Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after regular use of Belviq, please contact us immediately to discuss your case. You have a legal right to pursue justice for your negligent injuries – and we believe companies such as Eisai must be held accountable for their negligent actions. Our experienced attorneys will fight endlessly on your behalf to secure the maximum possible compensation for your needs.
Schedule a free consultation with us today and see how we can help. We offer our services nationwide.