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Lipitor patients sue Pfizer

Published on 14/09/06 at 01:45pm

A series of personal injury lawsuits filed in the US have taken aim at Pfizer's marketing practices for its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor.

The legal actions accuse the drug company of failing to adequately warn doctors and patients about the serious health risks attached to Lipitor.

Attorney Mark Jay Krum, who represents the 29 plaintiffs involved, said: "The lawsuits do not challenge Lipitor's effectiveness in lowering cholesterol levels, nor do they contend that the drug is unsafe for all patients.

"The suits charge that Pfizer has failed to adequately warn both doctors and consumers of Lipitor's more serious, and sometimes permanent, health risks."

At issue is the allegation that doctors were given insufficient warning about the possible side-effects of the drug, which can include nerve damage, memory loss and other cognitive impairments.

This is the third in a set of actions Krum has brought this year against Pfizer over the way it has promoted Lipitor. Krum said he expects more lawsuits to be filed in the coming months.

Lipitor is the world's best-selling drug, last year making sales of $13 billion, and this is not the first time Pfizer's marketing practices for the drug have come in for criticism. Between 1998 and 2002, the FDA ruled four times that Lipitor's print and broadcasting advertising was misleading.

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