In 2020, Belviq lawsuits are rapidly increasing in number after recent studies revealed this drug is associated with a risk of cancer. If you or a beloved one has been diagnosed with cancer after taking this popular weight-loss supplement, you may be eligible for compensation. Call us today, and we will help find the right lawyer.
What is Belviq, and how does it work?
Belviq (lorcaserin) is a weight-loss supplement developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals and marketed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai. It is intended for obese people who need to lose weight in a short time, as part of a weight management program, which includes increased physical activity and calorie restriction.
Belviq works by suppressing serotonin 2C receptors like fenfluramine (Fen Phen). These brain receptors are responsible for telling the body when it is satisfied with food. By blocking them, appetite is efficiently suppressed by the drug, and patients will lose roughly 3-4% of their body weight per year on average.
Weight-loss medications that are similar to lorcaserin such as Redux and Fen Phen were already recalled in 1997. Serotonin does, in fact, play several key roles in our body, and its blockage has many effects on other organs such as the heart, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal apparatus, etc. Potential long-term side effects of the suppression of this neurotransmitter can be severe and include heart disease and cancer.
Despite the claims from Arena Pharmaceutical about the alleged increased selectiveness of lorcaserin over its competitors, the U.S. Food Administration (FDA) voted against its release to the market in 2009. The regulator expressed serious concerns about an increased risk of tumors in rats, but the manufacturer resubmitted it for approval again in 2012. This time the drug was approved but with certain limitations, including that it was only to be used by patients with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 or affected by hypertension or Type 2 diabetes. Also, the FDA requested Eisai to run a clinical trial to evaluate the long-term side effects and risks of the diet drug.
Why was Belviq recalled in 2020?
In January 2020, the FDA has requested the manufacturing companies to withdraw Belviq and Belviq XR (the extended-release form). The regulator issued the recall after the clinical trial started in 2012 showed that the diet drug was linked with an increased risk of cancer that outweighed its benefits. After over 12,000 patients were observed for over five years, researchers found that a higher number of patients on lorcaserin were diagnosed with cancer compared to placebo. In particular, Belviq was associated with:
Current state of the Belviq litigation in 2020
After the FDA announced the weight-loss medication’s recall in January 2020, many Belviq lawsuits started being filed. As per March 2020, no mass tort has been centralized, but if enough claims reach the state and federal courts across the United States, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) may eventually decide to consolidate them into an MDL.
Why You Should File a Belviq Lawsuit
Plaintiffs who were diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq claim Arena Pharmaceuticals and Eisai to be responsible for their pain and suffering. If you are among them, you have the right to seek proper monetary compensation in court by filing a lawsuit. Victims might recover damages for:
Loss of wage or consortium
Psychological pain and mental anguish
Disability or permanent injury
We’re here to help you. Call us now, and we will seek justice for you and your family together.
About the author
Dr. Claudio Butticè Medical Writer and Journalist
Dr. Claudio Butticè, Pharm.D., is a former clinical and hospital pharmacist who worked for several public hospitals in Italy. He is now an accomplished book author and journalist. He also works as a medical consultant.