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Health & Medicine

The Story of Belviq Cancer-Related Lawsuits

— May 20, 2021

If you are a victim of Belviq, you can file a lawsuit for compensation by consulting an attorney specialising in medical and product liability cases.

FDA approval is the gold standard for drugs because it endorses the safe use of the drug. However, like God can have feet of clay; similarly, the FDA is not free from its share of controversies after approving certain drugs. The FDA follows rigorous standards in drug approval by going through the entire process of drug discovery from research to clinical trials, manufacturing and laboratory testing in minute details. However, it sometimes happens that they might later find an approved drug to be harmful to human health. In such cases, the drug company manufacturing the drug recalls the stock from the market to measure damage control. Still, it does not help the victims who are already suffering from some grievous side effect that can be life-threatening. 

Market recall ordered by FDA

A case in point is the Belviq complaints that have created uproar across the world as FDA ordered the Japanese manufacturer Eisai Inc. to withdraw the drug from the market as it had cancerous side effects. Earlier, the FDA approved Belviq in 2012, a weight-loss medicine containing lorcaserin as the main ingredient. During the drug’s extensive use for a few years across many countries, the FDA reversed its decision after a 5-year market study found that the drug-induced cancerous side effects.

Rats; image courtesy of Simon via Pixabay,

The background of the case

Since Belviq had received FDA’s approval, people accepted it as a safe drug because of the faith in the approval system that leaves no stone unturned to ensure the correctness of its decision. There is little reason to doubt the suitability and safety of any drug after it receives FDA’s approval and Belviq was distributed across the world through various channels and manufacturing partner Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., in accordance with a business model prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Since the FDA relies only on its assessment methods, it verifies the data provided by the manufacturer about the safety and efficacy of drugs against its benchmark and only when fully satisfied approves the drug. They followed the same process for approving Belviq based on the application submitted by Arena and Eisai in 2012. 

However, the FDI learned later that Arena and Eisai tacitly suppressed a study carried out by Arena in 2007. The study showed that lorcaserin caused rare and aggressive carcinogenic tumours in rats. Later, the FDA discovered the side effect by conducting its studies for 5 years, which nullified the approval accorded earlier. FDA confirmed its decision because it believed that the risks outweighed the benefits heavily.

People’s reaction

As soon as the word spread like fire, people started filing cancer-linked lawsuits in the American courts claiming compensation for damages which amounts to medical negligence and malpractice. Belviq lawsuits are in the early stages, and lawyers are still taking cases, but there have not been any major settlements or verdicts yet. 

If you are a victim of Belviq, you can file a lawsuit for compensation by consulting an attorney specialising in medical and product liability cases. The attorney will charge you only if they can win the lawsuit for you. 

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