Burg Simpson is currently investigating claims by patients diagnosed with cancer after taking the appetite-reducing drug Belviq (lorcaserin) as prescribed by their doctors. In 2020, the FDA announced a Belviq recall after a multi-year study found that Belviq users had an elevated risk of cancer. The FDA stated at the time that “the risks of lorcaserin outweigh its benefits.”
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer after taking the prescription drug Belviq, you may be entitled to substantial money damages, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Call any time 24/7 to discuss the details of your case at no charge with an experienced Belviq lawyer.
WHO CAN FILE A BELVIQ LAWSUIT?
Patients who were diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq or Belviq XR as prescribed by the doctor to treat obesity are filing lawsuits across the country against the drug’s manufacturer. They claim that the manufacturer put profits over patient safety by negligently bringing a dangerous drug to market without doing adequate safety testing, and for failing to warn doctors and patients about the cancer risks posed by Belviq. Plaintiffs state that had they know these risks beforehand, they would never have agreed to take the drug.
Plaintiffs in Belviq lawsuits are suing for financial compensation to cover:
- Medical costs stemming from their cancer treatment
- Pain and suffering, both mental and physical, caused by cancer, treatments, and recovery
- Loss of wages due to missed work, and loss of earning power
- Loss of quality of life
- Punitive damages against the manufacturer for its alleged recklessness and negligence
WHAT IS BELVIQ?
Belviq is a weight-loss drug developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals and later produced by Eisai Inc. The weight-loss drug works by activating receptors in the brain to promote the feeling of being full, leading to decreased food consumption. Early testing showed that some research rats developed tumors after taking the drug. Nonetheless, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) officially approved Belviq in 2012 and it hit U.S. markets in June 2013. The drug sold for about $300 a month and was not covered by insurance.
STUDY FINDS ELEVATED RISK OF CANCER IN PATIENTS TAKING BELVIQ
Though Belviq gained FDA approval in 2012, the FDA required developer Arena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Eisai Inc in 2017) to conduct a long-term, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the drug’s potential cardiovascular effects.
While no adverse heart events came up in the 12,000 patients over the course of five years, researchers unexpectedly found an elevated risk of cancer, including colorectal, pancreatic, lung, and hepatobiliary cancers. Cancer rates were nearly 1:1 among lorcaserin and placebo groups for the first six months, but 7.7 percent of long-term Belviq users ultimately developed cancer, compared to 7.1 percent of those taking the placebo.
While a range of cancers have been reported, the types of cancer most often identified in Belviq users were:
- Colorectal Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
FDA REQUESTS VOLUNTARY BELVIQ RECALL IN FEBRUARY 2020
The FDA requested a recall of Belviq and Belviq XR on February 13, 2020. The manufacturer agreed to voluntarily withdraw the drug from the market. “We are taking this action because we believe that the risks of lorcaserin outweigh its benefits,” the FDA stated.
The FDA announcement noted that the study “was conducted in 12,000 patients over 5 years. A range of cancer types was reported, with several different types of cancers occurring more frequently in the lorcaserin group, including pancreatic, colorectal, and lung.”
Belviq patients are encouraged to report any adverse events to the FDA’s MedWatch program.
CONTACT A BELVIQ LAWYER AT BURG SIMPSON
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer after taking weight-loss drug Belviq or Belviq XR, please call (888) 895-2080 to speak with our Colorado mass tort attorneys to inquire about your rights, including financial compensation. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning it costs you nothing upfront to pursue your Belviq lawsuit.