On February 13, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an official recall of the weight loss drugs Belviq (lorcaserin) and Belviq XR, citing that they are unsafe. They advised the manufacturer of the drugs, Eisai Inc., to remove these products from the market after a clinical trial found an increased occurrence of cancer. The official FDA declaration stated they “are taking this action because we believe that the risks of lorcaserin outweigh its benefits”.
What is Belviq
Belviq was created as an add-on to weight loss therapy (reduced-calorie diet and increased exercise), intended to help treat obesity by reducing the user’s feeling of hunger. It was approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30, considered obese, and overweight individuals with a BMI of at least 27 and other conditions that may increase risk of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.
The study leading to the Belviq recall
Belviq was initially rejected several years ago, as FDA committee members were concerned about studies showing tumors in rats that were exposed to the drug. Other members of the committee simply considered the drug ineffective and didn’t want to put long-term users at risk of unknown side effects.
FDA approved Belviq (lorcaserin) in 2012, based on the requirement that the manufacturer Eisai Inc. had to agree to conduct a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to ensure the drug’s safety. This study was conducted in 12,000 patients over five years and showed that more people taking Belviq were diagnosed with cancer, compared to those taking the inactive placebo. Notably, the trial found that cancer risk increased further the longer patients consumed lorcaserin.
Lawsuits against Belviq manufacturers
Lawsuits are being filed, alleging that Eisai Inc. failed to fully research side effects before introducing lorcaserin to the market, failed to recognize the link between the drug and cancer, and delayed the drug’s withdrawal from the market.
The FDA recalled it, but for many who were already taking Belviq, it may be too late. People who were diagnosed with cancer since taking this drug deserve justice, and our attorneys here at Kwartler Manus, LLC are here to help them achieve it.
Several types of cancer were found in the trial, but the most frequent cancers diagnosed in Belviq consumers are:
The experienced attorneys at Kwartler Manus, LLC. can help you
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of being on Belviq, call Kwartler Manus. We can help you get the compensation you deserve and recover damages like your related medical expenses, continuous cancer treatment, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.
At Kwartler Manus, LLC, our attorneys are dedicated to assisting those harmed by the effects of Belviq usage and have over 40 years of combined experience in personal injury litigation. Contact us online or call our office at (267) 457-5570 to schedule a consultation.