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.
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.
Cancer Link Led People to File Belviq 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.
- 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.
Questions Attorneys May Ask
What type of cancer did you develop after taking Belviq?
People who had been taking Belviq and later went on to file lawsuits were generally diagnosed with pancreatic, colorectal or lung cancer as their primary cancer.
How long had you been taking Belviq before you were diagnosed with cancer?
Individuals had typically been taking Belviq for at least six months prior to their cancer diagnosis.
Had you previously been diagnosed with cancer?
Your attorney will want to know if you had previously been diagnosed with pancreatic, colorectal or lung cancer prior to takingBelviq or Belviq XR as this could put you more at risk of developing these cancers again.
When did you last use Belviq?
Individuals filing lawsuits typically had taken Belviq or Belviq XR within seven years of their cancer diagnosis.
Can you provide a copy of your medical records?
Your Belviq lawyer will want to see copies of your medical records to review any information related to your cancer diagnosis.
What type of cancer treatment are you undergoing?
Be prepared to discuss the cancer treatment options your medical provider had recommended for you and which one you selected. Your attorney will want to know if it’s been effective.
Are you older than 18 years of age?
Belviq is indicated only for use in adults. For this reason, anyone under the age of 18 who took Belviq will likely not be eligible to file a lawsuit.
When did your loved one pass away from cancer?
If you’re seeking to file a lawsuit on behalf of a family member who passed away from cancer caused by Belviq, keep in mind that it’s important to act quickly. People filing lawsuits generally contact an attorney within a year and half of their loved one’s passing.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.