Crestor (rosuvastatin) is generally prescribed to treat people at risk of heart attack and stroke. It belongs to a class of drugs known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), which work by slowing the production of cholesterol and reducing buildup of cholesterol on artery walls. The drug is the No. 2 seller in its class and is considered effective.
But after nearly a decade on the market, the drug’s manufacturer convinced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that Crestor is also effective as a preventative treatment. Since then, a number of the prescription drug’s side effects came to the forefront. Crestor is linked to serious health risks, including heart problems, muscle damage, organ failure and death.
Why People Sue for Crestor Injuries
Crestor’s manufacturer, AstraZeneca, received FDA approval to market and sell the drug in 2003. Crestor eventually became the second-most popular statin after Lipitor. In March 2010, it was approved as a preventative treatment for people who do not suffer from cholesterol problems. However, the move met harsh criticism because the FDA has acknowledged studies associating statins with various health problems.
|Potential adverse side effects from statins include:|
|Serious muscle deterioration (rhabdomyolysis)||Cardiomyopathy|
|Type 2 diabetes||Memory loss|
|Kidney damage||Liver damage|
AstraZeneca’s past troubles with improper drug marketing add to concerns over potential adverse effects. In 2011, the drugmaker reached a record $68.6 million settlement with the attorneys general of 37 states and the District of Columbia over allegations that it improperly marketed an antipsychotic drug, Seroquel. Charges against the company included misleading and deceptive marketing and promoting the drug for unapproved uses.
In an age where drugmakers rush to promote additional uses for already successful drugs, warning patients and their doctors about prescription drug risks often seems to receive less priority. The danger behind this trend is that drugs are pushed to larger markets so quickly that they become very popular before the risks are known. This results in prescription drug-related injuries.
The risk of widespread injury can be particular troubling if proper warnings aren’t issued for drugs like statins, which are prescribed to more than 20 million Americans every year. The controversy about Crestor continues, fueled by new statin warnings issued by the FDA in 2012.
As early as 2009, consumer advocates demanded the recall of Crestor over links to a serious muscle disorder. But the drug remained on the market and news of even more risks, like kidney damage and memory loss, has emerged. Although the drugmaker continues to stand behind its product’s safety, injured consumers disagree and are exercising their legal rights.
In March 2012, a group of Crestor patients and their families filed a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturers, AstraZeneca LP and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, as well as its distributor, McKesson Corporation, in California state court.
They allege that the defendants designed, manufactured, marketed and distributed Crestor despite knowing about the drug’s “dangerous and defective nature.” They say the dangers include the possibility of sudden cardiac death.
If successful, the plaintiffs may be entitled to money damages for their injuries, including the costs of ongoing medical treatment, loss of wages, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. Similar lawsuits are expected in state and federal courts across the nation.