We count on regulators, doctors, drug manufacturers, and others in the healthcare industry to always look out for the best interest of patients. Human nature being what it is, that isn’t always the case. This is particularly true when it comes to prescription medications. These drugs can have dangerous, potentially fatal side effects if proper procedures aren’t followed.
In the case of the drug lorcaserin, known by the brand names Belviq and Belviq XR, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had the drug withdrawn after a clinical trial found that the drug increased incidents of cancer in patients compared to those who took a placebo.
The lawyers at Ward Black Law are here to hold the makers of the drug responsible for any damage they’ve caused. If you have suffered complications from taking Belviq or Belviq XR, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out more, call or text our office today at 800-531-9191 or visit our contact page.
Belviq was a weight loss drug made by Eisai, Inc., for use in patients who were obese – defined as having a body mass index (BMI) rating of 30 or higher – or overweight – defined as having a BMI of 27 or higher – with an aggravating condition like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or type II diabetes.
There was also an extended-release version of the drug marketed under the name Belviq XR.
Belviq and Belviq XR worked in a similar fashion as other weight-loss drugs. The medication activates receptors for the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps regulate your mood, appetite, and a handful of other bodily functions. By activating these receptors, the drug triggers a response in your brain that makes you feel full, so you don’t eat as much.
The basic idea behind Belviq and Belviq XR is sound, and there are other weight-loss drugs that work in similar ways but lack the potentially dangerous side effects of Belviq and Belviq XR.
Belviq was initially put on the market in 2012 after manufacturer Eisai, Inc., earned approval from the FDA. While FDA officials did allow Belviq to come to market, they also noted that there was a need for a further, long-term study to make sure the drug was truly safe. Thus, another round of clinical trials was ordered.
The results of this new clinical trial were problematic. The trial included 12,000 patients over five years. From the data compiled, researchers found that patients who had taken Belviq had an increased incidence of cancer – specifically pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer – compared to those who had taken a placebo.
Once the FDA looked at this new data, they requested that the drug be withdrawn, and Eisai complied. This withdrawal request took place in February 2020.
In the FDA’s statement on why they were asking Eisai, Inc., to withdraw Belviq and Belviq XR from the market, the FDA said, “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’s words clearly state the dangers of continuing to use either Belviq or Belviq XR. Some of those dangers include:
Pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest to treat and deadliest types of cancer, accounting for seven percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. with an overall five-year survival rate of only nine percent. Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. for both men and women, and a little over 52,000 people are predicted to die from colorectal cancers in 2020. Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer by far, with around 25 percent of all cancer deaths occurring as a result of the disease.
A diagnosis for any of these three types of cancer is a potential death sentence, and research suggests taking Belviq or Belviq XP makes it more likely that you will face one of these deadly diseases. Treatment for any type of cancer can be a painful experience in and of itself.
These are some of the potentially dangers of using Belviq or Belviq XR. More common but less dangerous side effects include backaches, constipation, cough, dizziness, dry mouth, headaches, low blood sugar, low energy, nausea, and throat irritation.
Filing a claim against a drug company regarding a defective drug is a different process from filing a claim against an individual doctor, though there are similar elements.
You’ll have to show that you took the drug (if you don’t have your own records, you can obtain them from your pharmacy) and that the drug is what led to your injuries. Proving the link between the drug and your injuries is the tricky part of the process, which is often why these cases are handled as large groups of claims involving potentially thousands of victims.
If you prevail in your claim, there are several different types of compensation for which you may be eligible. These include:
If you’re curious about what kinds of compensation for which you may be eligible, speak with an attorney. They can review your case and tell you more about what compensation you could potentially receive if your claim is successful.
You’re undoubtedly looking for some measure of justice if you were injured after taking Belviq, but taking on a major pharmaceutical company is no easy feat. These companies have teams of experienced, aggressive lawyers at their disposal, and they have lots of money to spend.
To take on a deep-pocketed pharmaceutical company, hiring a qualified attorney is crucial. Here are some ways that having a Belviq cancer lawyer at your side can help:
Like most personal injury claims, there are strict deadlines for filing a claim related to a defective drug. The deadline for injury claims in North Carolina is generally three years from the date of your injury, or two years from the date of death in a wrongful death action.
You have a limited window to file your claim, so make sure you speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Holding drug companies accountable for their dangerous products is a key part of our practice at Ward Black Law. We understand the toll these defective drugs can take on victims, which is why we fight so hard to see them find some kind of resolution through the legal system. We operate on a contingency fee system for personal injury claims, so if we take your case, you don’t pay us anything unless and until we secure compensation on your behalf.
Our firm has a proven track record of getting results for our clients. That’s why Janet Ward Black was recently named “Lawyer of the Year” for personal injury litigation claims in North Carolina’s Triad area by U.S. News & World Report. If we take your case, we’ll bring that same drive and dedication.
For a free, confidential case review, call or text our office today at 800-531-9191 or visit our contact page.