In September, 2020, the FDA officially requested the withdrawal of weight loss drug, Belviq (lorcaserin) from the market, owing to the fact that its “potential risk of cancer outweighs the benefits.” Although the manufacturers of the drug, Eisai Inc, duly complied, New York resident, Barbara Zottola, has filed a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming it was aware of the negative health effects of the drug, yet continued to manufacture and market it for years. Belviq is a prescription medication designed to aid in weight loss, since it increases the sensation of satiety. Sold at around $300 for one month’s course, it was not covered by most insurance companies. The plaintiff has also sued two additional defendants – the company that developed and licensed the drug (a San Diego pharmaceuticals company) and the place where she bought the drug (CVS Health Co).
The Effects Of Lorcaserin
As reported by drug defectiveness legal experts, JJS, the success of this type of lawsuit depends upon the plaintiff’s ability to prove that manufacturers and providers of the drug were aware of its damaging effect on health. In this case, a study begun by the San Diego pharmaceuticals company (Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc) that developed and licensed lorcaserin, purportedly showed that the drug caused aggressive cancerous tumors in rats. Despite the study results, applications for the drug were resubmitted in 2012, and it was approved by the FDA in 2013 for weight loss purposes. The FDA had given its approval pending agreement by the manufacturer to conduct research into the medication’s possible contribution to the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A five-year study found no link between the medication and these events, yet it did show an increase in cancer diagnoses.
FDA Warns Of Cancer Risk
The FDA reported that patients in the study showed a higher diagnosis rate for specific cancers – including lung, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer. The plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit argues that the FDA would not have approved the drug had it known of the findings in the 2007 lab study. She requested that the federal court certify a class of hundreds of thousands of patients who took this medication. The plaintiff has thus far sued the defendants for damages for fraud, false advertising, breach of implied warranty, and deceptive acts. She is also suing for unjust enrichment. In order to be successful, she will have to prove that the defendants retained a benefit without offering compensation “ in circumstances where compensation is reasonably expected.”
The New York resident has filed a class action suit against the three entities responsible for manufacturing, developing, and selling weight loss drug, Belviq. The Plaintiff claims that the manufacturers were aware of a link between the drug and an increased risk of developing various types of cancer, based on a 2007 lab study. The plaintiff has requested that the federal court certify hundreds of thousands of purchasers of the drug, so as to include them in her suit for unjust enrichment, fraud, false advertising, and other pertinent acts.
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