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Lawsuits & Litigation

A Guide to the Ozempic Lawsuits: What’s Next?

— June 17, 2024

Those who have used Ozempic and now have serious gastrointestinal problems can consult with an attorney to learn more about the legal options available.

On February 2, 2024, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the makers of the drug Ozempic in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This class-action lawsuit is a result of the order from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The order stems from the 55 lawsuits filed against the drug’s makers at the time, including 13 lawsuits in this same district. Since the class-action lawsuit was filed, dozens of additional cases have been added to it. The drug’s makers, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk originally released Ozempic on the market in 2017. This medication is FDA-approved. It continues to be available today to treat type 2 diabetes. Some doctors also prescribe the medication off-label for weight loss.

What Is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a diabetes therapy medication. This semaglutide encourages increased insulin production in the pancreas, which lowers blood sugar levels in those who have type 2 diabetes. It also can lower the risk of some cardiovascular events. 

One of its most well-known side effects of Ozempic is weight loss. The drug’s marketing campaigns have specifically mentioned weight loss as a side effect through a weekly injection. This has increased its popularity. In fact, there was a 300% increase in semaglutide prescriptions between 2020 and 2022. On TikTok, #ozempic has more than 1.4 billion views. Influencers and celebrities have also endorsed Ozempic. 

However, increased use of Ozempic has resulted in serious side effects as well as long-term health issues. In addition, nine people have died as a result of Ozempic side effects. Many known Ozempic side effects are constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, heartburn, pancreatitis, burping, gallstones, chronic gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea and nausea. In addition to impacting gut health, the medication is associated with hypoglycemia, fatigue, blurred vision, confusion, rapid heartbeat, dizziness and others.

The Claims Against Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk 

The plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit have been diagnosed with bowel injuries, stomach paralysis or gastroparesis since starting the use of Ozempic. While the drugmakers provided a list of known side effects, plaintiffs state that the named health issues were not publicized. A key aspect of the complaint is that the drug trial was only two years long, so long-term effects were not known when Ozempic was made available to patients. The plaintiffs are seeking financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering or the loss of a loved one.

Women's Pain is Often Ignored in the Healthcare System
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The major argument from the defense is that gastrointestinal issues were listed as a potential side effect. In addition, the defense is asking that all plaintiffs complete a stomach emptying test, which can rule out other potential causes of their health problems. 

Consult with a Lawyer

Those who have experienced serious side effects from using Ozempic, may be entitled to compensation for damages including medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering as well as punitive damages. Some states have passed filing deadlines for the lawsuit of between one and two years. Others have not established deadlines. Those who have used Ozempic and now have serious gastrointestinal problems can consult with an attorney to learn more about the legal options available.

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