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Ozempic Lawsuits

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a widely used prescription medication for type-2 diabetes and weight management. Recent scientific studies indicate that higher doses of Ozempic can lead to gallstones and gallbladder disease, often requiring surgical intervention for gallbladder removal. Research has also shown that Ozempic can cause gastroparesis, a a serious condition that causes food to move too slowly through the stomach to the small intestine.

Until recently, the warning label for Ozempic failed to inform patients and physicians about the risk of gallbladder-related issues or gastroparesis. Individuals who experienced gallbladder disease or gastroparesis after using Ozempic may have grounds for financial compensation through a product liability lawsuit. Lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturers emerged in 2023 and will soon be consolidated into an Ozempic class action lawsuit.

For those involved in an Ozempic-related gallbladder lawsuit, contact our attorneys today at 800-322-3010 or reach out online for a complimentary consultation.

About Ozempic

Ozempic, also known by its generic name semaglutide, is a prescription medication typically prescribed to manage type 2 diabetes. Belonging to the class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, Ozempic leverages GLP-1, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in response to food intake. Notably, it has demonstrated potential for inducing weight loss, even among individuals without diabetes, which has expanded its usage beyond diabetes management.

Developed by the Dutch pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk in 2012, Ozempic gained FDA approval and entered the U.S. market in December 2017. In 2021, an intensified variant of Ozempic, known as Wegovy, was sanctioned by the FDA.

Operating by stimulating insulin production after meals, GLP-1 agonists such as Ozempic replicate the functions of the naturally occurring GLP-1 peptide, aiding in controlling blood sugar levels among individuals with type 2 diabetes.

This drug effectively lowers blood sugar to normal levels and also moderates the pace of digestion, contributing to sustained glucose levels. Typically administered through a once-weekly injection, Ozempic’s dosage ranges between 0.25 mg to 1 mg.

While initially developed for diabetes management, clinical trials revealed Ozempic’s weight loss benefits, prompting further investigation into its potential in this realm. Consequently, higher doses of semaglutide, under the moniker “Wegovy,” have been approved for chronic weight management purposes. Ozempic itself is also frequently prescribed for weight management.

The Push to Make Billions from Ozempic

Novo Nordisk announced the FDA’s approval of Ozempic  in December 2017, planning a U.S. launch in early 2018. They aimed to make Ozempic competitively priced, on par with other weekly GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs), and offered a savings card program for eligible patients to reduce co-pays. Additionally, Novo Nordisk worked on ensuring broad insurance coverage and patient access. By February 2018, Ozempic was available in the U.S., marketed as a new treatment option for diabetes with a co-pay reduction program.

Novo Nordisk extensively promoted Ozempic through various channels, including websites, press releases, social media, and television ads. Notably, a TV ad launched in July 2018 used a popular 1970s song to highlight Ozempic’s benefits, though it was not indicated for weight loss. In March 2022, a higher 2 mg dose of Ozempic received FDA approval, with claims of proven safety and potential weight loss benefits.

Since 2018, Novo Nordisk has invested heavily in advertising its semaglutide drugs, with significant spending on Ozempic television ads. In 2022 alone, the company allocated around $180.2 million on Ozempic ads. Additionally, Novo Nordisk reportedly spent millions on meals and travel for doctors to promote Ozempic and related drugs, a practice criticized for potentially influencing prescribing behavior.

Ozempic’s popularity soared, with record-high prescription numbers in early 2023, and significant online presence, especially on platforms like TikTok. Despite supply shortages, Novo Nordisk continued to advertise its semaglutide products online as of mid-2023.  But the question is whether consumers and doctors knew of all the risks of Ozempic.

Ozempic Causes Gallbladder Disease

Several scientific studies and reports dating back to 2017 have underscored a potential link between Ozempic usage and the onset of gallstones and gallbladder disease. In 2017, a meta-analysis examining the impact of Ozempic on pancreatitis and gallbladder disease was published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism. This analysis marked the initial discovery suggesting an association between Ozempic use and an elevated risk of gallbladder disease.

A significant revelation emerged in August 2022 when a Research Letter was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. This letter referenced conclusive evidence demonstrating that individuals using Ozempic faced a notably higher risk of developing gallstones and experiencing acute gallbladder disease. The conclusions drawn in this letter were based on a comprehensive review conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), utilizing data obtained from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS).

The study indicated an increased risk of both gallstones (cholelithiasis) (RR 1.27) and acute gallbladder disease (cholecystitis) associated with Ozempic compared to placebo or active comparator. Researchers further highlighted that the risk of gallbladder issues linked to Ozempic was heightened with higher drug doses, prolonged usage, and when the medication was employed for weight loss purposes.

While the precise mechanism behind how Ozempic might elevate the risk of gallbladder disease remains unclear, it is believed that Ozempic may stimulate increased bile production by the gallbladder, potentially leading to the formation of gallstones. Nevertheless, the specific reasons might matter less when considering the emerging certainty that Ozempic-associated gallbladder disease could be an unforeseen complication for patients.

Ozempic and Gastroparesis

Additional scientific evidence has also shown that using Ozempic for weight management can cause gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a potentially serious condition in which the stomach and intestines don’t move and digest food quickly enough. In some instances, food may stop moving entirely. Gastroparesis may also occur with gastroenteritis, or stomach inflammation.

New Key Ozempic Study

A study last year, published in JAMA in October 2023, identified a direct link between the use of the drug Ozempic and the development of gastroparesis, a condition also known as stomach paralysis. This study is significant as it supports earlier, less rigorous research on this topic.

Ozempic, along with other drugs like Wegovy and Mounjaro, belongs to a class of medications known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. These drugs are primarily used for diabetes treatment and weight loss. The JAMA study, focusing on the use of semaglutide (the generic name for Ozempic and Wegovy) for weight management, found a higher risk of gastrointestinal issues including gastroparesis, pancreatitis, and bowel obstruction in users.

Gastroparesis is a serious condition that slows or even stops the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine, leading to various symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

The Study’s Finding

Yhe researchers wanted to see if these drugs caused any stomach problems when used for weight loss.  That is a key question in every Ozempic lawsuit.

They checked out the medical records of 16 million people from 2006 to 2020. They specifically looked at new users of these diabetes drugs and compared them to another weight loss drug that doesn’t work like the diabetes drugs. The researchers made sure these people were actually using the drugs for weight loss and not for diabetes.

Here’s what they found: People using these diabetes drugs for weight loss had a higher chance of getting pancreatitis (a painful inflammation of the pancreas), gastroparesis (where your stomach can’t move food properly), and bowel obstruction (blockage in the intestines). However, they didn’t find a higher chance of biliary disease (problems with the gallbladder and bile ducts).

Implications of Study

The study suggests that even though these side effects are rare, they’re still important to think about. If you’re considering using these drugs for weight loss, you should weigh the risks and benefits, especially since they might be different from using them for diabetes.

The study highlights the importance of patients and healthcare providers being aware of these risks, especially for those considering using these drugs for weight loss.

This finding is particularly relevant as the use of these drugs has surged in popularity, partly driven by celebrity endorsements and their effectiveness in weight loss. However, the potential side effects, as indicated by the study, raise concerns about the long-term safety of using these medications for purposes other than diabetes treatment. Because the cost benefit that goes into using a drug for diabetes is very different that that used for weight loss.  Our firm is taking diabetes use cases.. but the best Ozempic lawsuits will involve the use of the drug for weight loss.

Ozempic Lawsuits

The drug warning label for Ozempic for formally revised in March 2022, specifically incorporating a warning regarding gallbladder disease and gastroparesis. Prior to this update, the label contained no information regarding gallstones or gallbladder disease or gastroparesis, leaving both doctors and patients unaware of the potential risk associated with Ozempic.

Individuals who utilized Ozempic before the revised warning label and subsequently received diagnoses of gallstones, cholecystitis, or other gallbladder-related conditions might have grounds for seeking financial compensation. Product liability lawsuits are being pursued against Ozempic’s manufacturer, alleging negligence in failing to provide adequate warnings concerning the risk of gallbladder disease linked to the medication.

Possible Ozempic  Lawsuit Settlement Payouts

Determining the potential settlement amounts for new product liability cases like those involving Ozempic’s impact on gallbladder health is highly challenging. There are so many variables with Ozempic, especially with its notoriety and the fact that the drug makers are printing money hand over fist with these new diet drugs.   The reliability of the scientific evidence in these cases remains uncertain, making it a crucial variable in defective drug lawsuits.

While accurately estimating settlement values is complex, our legal team can offer an informed estimate on potential compensation payouts for Ozempic cases.  You just have to appreciate the context.  It is an educated guess and a guess in the dark all at the same time.

Considering specific assumptions about the evidence of causation, our attorneys believe successful Ozempic lawsuits might fall within a settlement range of $400,000 to $700,000. This estimate pertains to the most severe Ozempic cases, such as those involving gallbladder removal or resulting in death.

Contact an Ozempic Lawyer

If you have a potential Ozempic lawsuit, contact our attorneys today at 800-322-3010 or reach out online for a complimentary consultation.