Belviq Pancreatic Cancer
Belviq (lorcaserin), a popular weight-loss drug, has been tied to increased occurrences of pancreatic cancer. In February of 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that Eisai Inc., the drug’s manufacturer, voluntarily withdraw the medication from the market. Since its recall, families across the United States have filed Belviq pancreatic cancer lawsuits.
Studies Link Belviq to Pancreatic Cancer
The Belviq (lorcaserin) was approved by the FDA for the United States market in 2012. Upon its approval, the agency required the manufacturer to evaluate the drug’s risks by conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. The study was conducted over a 5-year period with 12,000 patients.
The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that Belviq use was tied to increased rates of pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. Researchers found patients who took Belviq had an increased rate of cancer diagnosis compared to those who were given a placebo. Patients taking Belviq were diagnosed at a 7.7 percent rate (n=462) while the placebo group had a 7.1 percent rate (n=432) of diagnosis.
In January of 2020, the agency announced that the trials showed a possible link between Belviq and pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancers. The FDA said that they were not able to definitively conclude that lorcaserin contributed to the increased risk of cancer, but a month later the agency decided the potential risks were significant enough to recall the medication.