Belviq Lawsuits

People began filing Belviq lawsuits shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked the drug’s manufacturer, Eisai Inc., to pull it off the market. A five-year study of Belviq users convinced the FDA that the drug posed an increased cancer risk.

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Belviq Pills
Belviq Lawsuit Facts
  1. INJURIES Pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer
  2. MANUFACTURER Eisai Inc., Arena Pharmaceuticals
  3. VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS Lawsuits are in the early stages. There have been no verdicts or major settlements at this time

Belviq, or lorcaserin, was a weight loss drug approved by the FDA in 2012 to treat obesity. It was also prescribed to overweight people who had serious weight-related health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

It was available by prescription in its original form and in an extended release version, Belviq XR. Both are the subject of Belviq lawsuits.

Arena Pharmaceuticals manufactures Belviq at its facility in Switzerland. Eisai Inc. marketed and distributed Belviq in the United States. Both companies are named in lawsuits.

On Feb. 13, 2020, the FDA requested that Eisai Inc. voluntarily withdraw the drug over the potential cancer link. The agency based its decision on results from a five-year study of Belviq users that the company had conducted to make sure there were no serious cardiovascular risks associated with the drug.

“We are taking this action because we believe that the risks of lorcaserin outweigh its benefits based on our completed review of results from a randomized clinical trial assessing safety,” the FDA announcement read.

When the FDA approved Belviq, it required Eisai to conduct a long-term study into the drug’s cardiovascular effects. The study involved 12,000 people, some taking Belviq and others taking a placebo.

Data from the trial showed that 7.7 percent of the people taking Belviq developed cancer, compared to 7.1 percent taking the placebo.

Belviq users who developed any one of three different types of cancer began filing lawsuits shortly after the FDA announcement.

Types of cancer named in Belviq lawsuits:
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Lung cancer

The company complied with the FDA’s request, but it issued a statement saying that its interpretation of data from the study differed from the FDA’s.

“The company’s assessment is that Belviq and Belviq XR continue to have a positive benefit-risk profile in the patient population for which they are indicated,” the statement read.

The statement added that Eisai respected the FDA’s decision and was working with the agency to remove its drug from the market.

Status of Belviq Lawsuits

Belviq lawsuits are still in the early stages. Lawyers are taking cases, but there have been no verdicts or major settlements yet.

People who developed cancer after taking Belviq, or who lost a loved one to cancer after taking the drug, should talk with an attorney to determine if they have a case.

Lawyers who handle Belviq lawsuits specialize in medical and product liability cases. These attorneys usually do not charge clients for their services unless they win the lawsuit. They also offer free consultations. If you speak to an attorney about filing a Belviq lawsuit, be sure to confirm all costs to you up front.

Who Can File a Belviq Lawsuit?

People who developed lung, pancreatic or colorectal cancer after taking Belviq for a total of six months may be eligible to file a lawsuit. It does not have to be six months in a row. They should have taken Belviq within seven years of being diagnosed with cancer.

The cancers must have originated in the lung, pancreas or colon; it cannot have spread to them from other organs.

Those who lost a loved one to cancer after they took Belviq should talk to a lawyer within a year and a half of his or her death.

People considering a Belviq lawsuit should have details of their personal cancer history with them when they talk to an attorney about filing a case.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.

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Terry Turner
Written By Terry Turner Writer

Terry Turner has been writing articles and producing news broadcasts for more than 25 years. He covers FDA policy, proton pump inhibitors, and medical devices such as hernia mesh, IVC filters, and hip and knee implants. An Emmy-winning journalist, he has reported on health and medical policy issues before Congress, the FDA and other federal agencies. Some of his qualifications include:

  • American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
  • Original works published or cited in Washington Examiner, MedPage Today and The New York Times
  • Appeared as an expert panelist on hernia mesh lawsuits on the BBC
Edited By

6 Cited Research Articles

  1. Arena Pharmaceuticals. (2013, June 26). Arena Pharmaceuticals Announces Belviq (lorcaserin HCI) New Drug Submission in Canada. Retrieved from http://invest.arenapharm.com/news-releases/news-release-details/arena-pharmaceuticals-announces-belviqtm-lorcaserin-hcl-new-drug
  2. Eisai Inc. (n.d.). Prescribing Information. Retrieved from https://www.belviq.com/
  3. Howard, J. (2020, January 15). Weight Loss Drug Belviq Tied to ‘Possible Increased Risk of Cancer,’ FDA Says. CNN. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/15/health/belviq-cancer-risk-fda-bn/index.html
  4. Otto, M.A. (2020, February 13). Lorcaserin Withdrawn from U.S. Market Due to Cancer Risk. Clinical Endocrinology News. Retrieved from https://www.mdedge.com/endocrinology/article/217327/oncology/lorcaserin-withdrawn-us-market-due-cancer-risk
  5. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2020, February 13). FDA Requests the Withdrawal of the Weight-Loss Drug Belviq, Belviq XR (Lorcaserin) From the Market. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-requests-withdrawal-weight-loss-drug-belviq-belviq-xr-lorcaserin-market
  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2020, February 13). Safety Clinical Trial Shows Possible Increased Risk of Cancer With Weight-Loss Medicine Belviq, Belviq XR (Lorcaserin). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/safety-clinical-trial-shows-possible-increased-risk-cancer-weight-loss-medicine-belviq-belviq-xr
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