Patients taking Lipitor -- the best-selling cholesterol medicine in the world with 22 million users -- began suing Pfizer in June, alleging that the negative physical side effects such as muscle pain, nerve damage, nightmares, memory loss and other central nervous system problems were not properly explained when they were prescribed the drug.
"These lawsuits charge that Pfizer failed to adequately warn both doctors and consumers of the drug's more serious and somewhat permanent health risks -- risks that Pfizer was well aware of in its own clinical studies of statin usage," said Mark Jay Krum, the attorney representing the plaintiffs in the class-action suit, in a statement. "Pfizer has apparently engaged in a campaign of misinformation, designed to downplay and cover up Lipitor's more serious and irreversible side effects, and is willing to promote the drug at any cost."
The Common Voice reports that sales of Lipitor exceeded $12 billion in 2005, and that in response to the lawsuit, Pfizer took out fill-page ads in major newspapers around the country touting the safety and effectiveness of Lipitor.
Krum says his lawsuit does not seek to dispute the drug's effectiveness, but rather its safety.