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Lawsuit Alleges Type 2 Diabetes Injuries Associated with Crestor Use

Jun 3, 2014

A lawsuit alleges that AstraZeneca LP, and its distributor, McKesson Corp., concealed an association between the cholesterol-lowering drug, Crestor (rosuvastatin), and increased diabetes risks.

The lawsuit was brought by consumers who alleged that AstraZeneca and McKesson deceived consumers by hiding test results tying Crestor to diabetes and other illnesses, according to Law360.The lawsuit was just removed to California federal court.

The consumers also allege that AstraZeneca’s and McKesson’s internal studies found that Crestor was also associated with elevated risks for kidney damage, cardiomyopathy, and heart disease and, knowing this, subdued or biased information on the drug’s negative health effects to ensure Crestor could continue to be prescribed. “Defendants well knew that prescribing physicians would not be in a position to know the true risks of Crestor and … would rely upon the misleading information that they promulgated,” according to the complaint, Law360 reported.

The consumers who brought the lawsuits also alleged they would never have taken Crestor had they known of these potential injuries. “Defendants sold or aided and abetted in the sale of Crestor which was and is defective and unreasonably dangerous,” the complaint also indicated. “Defendants knew or should have known that Crestor was, and is, hazardous to human health,” reported Law360.

According to Reuters, statins are taken by about 25 percent of the adults in the United States who are 45 years of age and older. Crestor and other statins are prescribed to block a substance the body needs to produce cholesterol. Cholesterol may become trapped in the arteries, leading to heart attack and stroke.

In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sought safety warnings for statins, including Crestor. The agency indicated that the drugs were tied to an increased risk of inducing memory loss and increasing blood sugar levels, which is associated with diabetes. The FDA added the new safety warnings to the drugs, specifically over the medications’ ties to these increased risks. The labels now warn physicians and patients that statins, such as Crestor, may lead to increases in blood sugar levels and Type 2 diabetes, adverse reactions seen in prior studies. According to Time, Type 2 diabetes may also increase risks for cardiac disease.

In early 2013, Health Canada asked statin makers to update their labels to include a warning increased diabetes risks and urged physicians to carefully monitor patients taking statins who are at risk for diabetes.

A Canadian study just found that statin patients, including patients taking Crestor, may be at a greater risk of developing diabetes. Stroke and heart attack patients may be at risk for a 15 percent increased risk of developing diabetes within two years of starting statin treatment, according to a CTV News report. The study was conducted by researchers from the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES) and was published in the British Medical Journal.

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