Pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, will face hundreds of lawsuits filed by women who claimed that the drug, Lipitor, has caused them to develop type 2 diabetes and suffer from other side effects.
The lawsuits also allege that Pfizer was aware of these harmful side effects, but did not communicate them to the consumers. The lawsuits increased from 56 to at least 1,000 for the past five months, according to Reuters.
Due to the excessive amount of lawsuits, a federal judicial panel will consolidate the cases into a single courtroom located at Charleston, S.C. To date, 1,000 cases were filed for 4,000 women, and that number is expected to reach more than 10,000 in the near future.
"We will ask a jury to decide what it's worth to take five years of someone's life," said H. Blair Hahn, lead lawyer of the plaintiffs.
Pfizer, on the other hand, did not agree to the consolidation, and stated that these hearings might cause other women to file cases, even if they weren't affected.
The first case is scheduled to be tried on July 2015, reported Reuters. The company stated that they are not guilty of the charges and will defend themselves in court.
Pfizer is not the only company facing lawsuits for their products. Takeda Pharmaceutical has to address 35,000 lawsuits that were collated since 2011. The lawsuits were filed after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered the company to update their label and warn consumers about possible bladder cancer. Like Pfizer, Takeda denied their liability on the matter.
Pfizer stood by their statement and did not believe that their drug caused type 2 diabetes in women. They explained that those who took Lipitor to manage their cholesterol levels were exposed to risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure, but nothing more.