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Injured people from across the country are filing Ozempic lawsuits for debilitating injuries, including severe gastroparesis (known as stomach paralysis), gastroenteritis, severe vomiting, and other health issues. The lawsuits allege Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, made billions in sales by marketing Ozempic for weight loss but failed to warn consumers the drug carries dangerous side effects.
In August of 2023, CNN and other major media reported on an Ozempic lawsuit alleging Novo Nordisk knew Ozempic (generic semaglutide) could increase the risk of developing severe gastrointestinal issues, including gastroparesis and gastroenteritis, but failed to warn consumers. The lawsuit seeks damages for past and future pain and suffering, health care costs, medical monitoring, and punitive damages against the company. Lawyers believe the litigation will grow to include hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of claimants throughout the U.S.
If you or a member of your family received semaglutide injections for weight loss and experienced side effects like gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), persistent vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea, you may qualify for an Ozempic lawsuit. At Wisner Baum, we have partnered with leading Ozempic lawyers taking the fight to Novo Nordisk on behalf of individuals harmed by semaglutide side effects.
If you are interested in learning more about your legal rights, call us today at (855) 948-5098 or fill out our free and confidential Ozempic case evaluation.
February 4, 2024: The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an order this week consolidating dozens of Ozempic side effect lawsuits. Consolidated cases will now be a part of MDL 3094 In Re: Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1 RAS) Products Liability Litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania before the Hon. Judge Gene E. K. Pratter.
There was some question as to which drug makers would be involved in the litigation. Lawsuits have accused Novo Nordisk of failing to warn about dangerous side effects associated with Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus, Lawsuits have also named Eli Lilly based on similar allegations involving Trulicity and Mounjaro. All of the drugs belong to a class known as GLP-1 receptor agonists.
In the order, the JPML included both Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, the latter of which is facing the majority of claims as of this writing. Judge Pratter can separate the defendants should he deem it appropriate, but for now, both drug companies are parties in the MDL.
In the coming weeks, we will know which Ozempic attorneys will serve on the plaintiffs’ leadership. Check back for more updates.
January 25, 2024: Today, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will hear arguments concerning plaintiffs' request to consolidate Ozempic lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Ozempic’s manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, has not objected to the application to consolidate cases, so we believe an MDL is likely.
Two questions will need to be answered:
- Should drug manufacturer Ely Lilly be included in the litigation? Ely Lilly makes Mounjaro, which is a similar drug to Ozempic. Both are GLP-1 receptor agonists. Some legal professionals contend that maintaining separate cases would be preferable.
- Assuming an MDL is established, where will cases be consolidated? While the application proposes the Western District of Louisiana, California, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are also possibilities.
January 2, 2024: As we look forward to 2024, we anticipate a decision on whether the court will establish a federal MDL for lawsuits against Ozempic and similar drugs. Check back for the latest news on the Ozempic lawsuits.
December 22, 2023: A plaintiff in Louisiana filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical giants Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly & Co. The lawsuit alleges severe health complications, including vomiting and tooth loss, after taking Ozempic and Mounjaro.
Novo Nordisk and its subsidiaries are challenging the Louisiana court jurisdiction, arguing the complaint does not establish a connection between them and the state of Louisiana, nor does it include the plaintiff’s prescription history, marketing claims, or other allegations pertaining to the state of Louisiana.
The plaintiff seeks to consolidate Ozempic lawsuits filed in federal court into one multidistrict litigation (MDL). Scroll down to our previous update to learn more about what an MDL is.
December 18, 2023: Recently, a federal judge in Louisiana partially denied Novo Nordisk’s request to dismiss an Ozempic lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges the medication failed to warn about its side effects, particularly gastroparesis. While the judge dismissed breach of express warranty allegations, he allowed other claims to proceed.
December 1, 2023: Plaintiffs filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all federal gastroparesis lawsuits related to Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and similar GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs. A multidistrict litigation (MDL) shares some similarities with a class action, but they are legally distinct processes. In an MDL, individual lawsuits with common issues are consolidated for pretrial proceedings, discovery, gathering evidence, and more. But each case remains separate with unique claims for damages. This means that individuals within an MDL are not beholden to the resolution for an entire class, like a class action lawsuit. In a class action, each class member stands to gain the same resolution, with the exception of the class representatives, who may obtain a different resolution than the class for their additional duties in the litigation. As of today, there are 18 pending Ozempic lawsuits in federal courts.
November 7, 2023: An Ozempic class action lawsuit has been filed against Novo Nordisk in Canada. The lawsuit alleges that the company failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential risk of gastroparesis caused by its drug Ozempic. Similar lawsuits have been filed in the U.S.
October 21, 2023: A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association will likely encourage more people who suffered side effects after Ozempic to come forward and file lawsuits. The study found that individuals using popular weight loss medications like Ozempic or Wegovy may face an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal issues. Per the study, “the use of GLP-1 agonists for weight loss compared with use of bupropion-naltrexone was associated with increased risk of pancreatitis, gastroparesis, and bowel obstruction…”
September 27, 2023: Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the Ozempic label to include information about an increased risk of ileus, a condition that obstructs the passage of food or fluid through the intestines. The agency has received over 8,000 adverse event reports related to Ozempic and Wegovy side effects.
August 5, 2023: The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other agencies are currently investigating whether there is a connection between the use of certain diabetes and weight loss drugs, such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and other glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
While there is not currently any evidence suggesting a correlation between suicide and Ozempic use, the EMA investigation highlights the limited information on potential side effects associated with Wegovy and Ozempic.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved semaglutide (generic for Ozempic) in 2017 as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. Ozempic works by mimicking a hormone that our bodies naturally produce called “glucagon-like peptide-1,” or GLP-1, which can cause the pancreas to release insulin and block the liver from releasing sugar. By regulating insulin, the drug also keeps food in the stomach for longer, making people feel fuller longer.
There are several types of semaglutide medications, including:
- Ozempic: Injection that comes in 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, or 2mg dose pens. Patients typically receive weekly Ozempic injections.
- Wegovy: Injection that comes in 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, 1.7mg, or 2.4mg dose pens. Patients typically receive weekly Wegovy injections.
- Rybelsus: A tablet that comes in 3mg, 7mg, or 14mg doses. Patients take Rybelsus tablets daily.
How Much Does Ozempic Cost?
Without insurance coverage, Ozempic and Wegovy can cost from $1,000 to $1,700 per month.
The real cost, however, is the significant side effects that some people continue to feel after they stop taking Ozempic. Emily Wright, a schoolteacher in Toronto, took Ozempic for over a year and lost 80 pounds. But according to Wright, she now vomits so frequently that she was forced to take a leave of absence from her job. “I’ve almost been off Ozempic for a year, but I’m still not back to my normal,” she said.
Ozempic for Weight Loss
While semaglutide was not initially approved for weight loss specifically, that did not stop Novo Nordisk from promoting Ozempic for weight loss, according to lawsuits. In 2018, Novo Nordisk launched a TV ad campaign stating that “adults lost on average up to 12 pounds” when taking Ozempic. The company spent approximately $884,000,000 over the next five years on television ads in the U.S. to promote semaglutide drugs with most of the spending allocated specifically to advertising Ozempic.
As a result of Novo Nordisk’s marketing, Ozempic prescriptions reached an all-time high of 373,000 in one week in February of 2023, more than half of which were new prescriptions. In June of 2023, new prescriptions for Ozempic surged by 140 percent from the previous year, according to media reports.
Ozempic even found its way into celebrity culture, with Jimmy Kimmel quipping about Ozempic and weight loss while hosting the 2023 Academy Awards. The TikTok hashtag #Ozempic had 273 million views on November 22, 2022. Months later, it reached well over one billion views.
But Ozempic is linked to serious side effects that have devastated lives. Joanie Knight, a Louisiana woman in her 30s, told CNN: “I wish I never touched it. I wish I’d never heard of it in my life…This medicine made my life hell. So much hell. It has cost me money. It cost me a lot of stress; it cost me days and nights and trips with my family. It’s cost me a lot, and it’s not worth it. The price is too high.”
Brenda Allen, a woman in her 40s, was prescribed Wegovy for weight loss. “And even now, being off the medication for almost a year, I’m still having a lot of problems,” she said.
A growing body of medical research has connected Ozempic to side effects that can lead to severe and distressing injuries. Novo Nordisk lists the most common Ozempic side effects as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and constipation. Other reported side effects include pancreatitis, changes in vision, low blood sugar, kidney problems, serious allergic reactions, and gallbladder problems.
Ozempic lawsuits against Novo Nordisk allege the following side effects:
Gastroparesis: Commonly known as stomach paralysis, gastroparesis is a condition characterized by abnormal stomach muscle function, resulting in impaired contraction, and grinding of food. This dysfunction hinders the stomach's ability to efficiently empty its contents.
Gastroenteritis Inflammation of the stomach and intestines. While viral gastroenteritis is also known as stomach flu, gastroenteritis may also be caused by ingesting certain medication, including Ozempic. Gastroenteritis symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle aches, headaches, and fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, the main complication of gastroenteritis, and which can lead to death.
While the delayed gastric emptying caused by Ozempic may aid weight loss, long-term usage may lead to a chronic condition. Indeed, the plaintiff in the August 2023 Ozempic lawsuit alleges her teeth fell out due to the excessive vomiting caused by the medication.
Ozempic and the Risks of Acute Gallbladder Disease
Gallbladder disease presents as a potential side effect of GLP-1 receptor agonists, including Ozempic (semaglutide). Studies show that these medications may lead to an elevated risk of developing gallbladder disease or bile duct disease, including conditions like cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) and cholelithiasis (formation of gallstones).
The precise mechanism through which Ozempic contributes to gallbladder disease remains uncharted territory. However, one theory suggests that these medications not only slow down gastric emptying but also impede the emptying process of the gallbladder.
A lack of regular and complete emptying may lead to bile concentration within the gallbladder, increasing the likelihood of gallstone formation. Unfortunately, the presence of gallstones can obstruct bile ducts, ultimately causing inflammation or infection in the gallbladder, necessitating surgery for removal.
Symptoms of gallbladder disease typically manifest as severe pain in the upper right or central region of the abdomen. The pain can be constant or intermittent, accompanied by pronounced stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
Studies on Semaglutide
A meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the link between GLP-1-1 RA treatment and gallbladder and biliary diseases. Randomized clinical trials were utilized to compare the use of GLP-1 RA drugs with placebo or non-GLP-1 RA drugs in adults. The primary outcome measured was the composite of gallbladder or biliary diseases, while secondary outcomes included biliary diseases, biliary cancer, cholecystectomy, cholecystitis, and cholelithiasis.
The meta-analysis revealed that the use of GLP-1 RAs was associated with an increased risk of gallbladder or biliary diseases, especially when used at higher doses, for longer durations, and for weight loss.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis to examine the association between GLP1-RA and cholelithiasis. The results indicated a significant increased risk of cholelithiasis with the use of GLP-1 RAs when compared to placebo or active comparator.
This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the safety of GLP1-RA drugs in relation to pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and cholelithiasis. The researchers concluded that GLP1-RA was safe for pancreatitis, but there was an increased risk of cholelithiasis associated with the use of these drugs.
This comparative study aimed to determine if there was an increased risk of bile duct and gallbladder disease in patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated with DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 analogues. Out of more than 70,000 patients, 853 were hospitalized for bile duct and gallbladder disease. The study found that the use of GLP-1 analogues was associated with an elevated risk of these illnesses, as well as an increased risk of cholecystectomy. The researchers advised physicians to be cautious about prescribing these drugs due to the identified risks.
Is There an Ozempic Class Action?
As of February 2024, there is not an Ozempic class action lawsuit, though that could change. An Ozempic class action would likely aim to secure medical monitoring for individuals who may face future risks after using these diet drugs or seek compensation from the drug manufacturers for insufficiently disclosing the serious risks associated with their medications.
However, it is important to note that individual personal injury lawsuits stemming from gastroparesis or gastroenteritis will involve distinct damages for each plaintiff and will not be consolidated into a class action lawsuit involving Ozempic, Wegovy, or Rybelsus users.
Given that over 1 in 10 Americans have reportedly used Ozempic for weight loss purposes at some point, it is anticipated that thousands of lawsuits against Ozempic will be filed in the coming years.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated Ozempic side effect lawsuits in Pennsylvania in 2024. An MDL (or a state court version of an MDL) streamlines discovery and pretrial proceedings and functions similarly to a class action but the individual cases are tried separately. However, it should be emphasized that if the drug manufacturer fails to reach a global Ozempic settlement agreement or any other resolution during an MDL, individual claims may subsequently be remanded to courts where they were filed, paving the way for separate trials in the future.
OZEMPIC VS MOUNJARO
Ozempic (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide)are both prescription medications commonly used in conjunction with diet and exercise to regulate blood sugar levels in adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Both medications are:
- In a class of drugs known as incretin mimetics.
- Administered through subcutaneous injections on a weekly basis.
- Costly if you are paying for them out-of-pocket.
- Widely used for weight loss even though neither is FDA-approved specifically for this purpose.
- Implicated in lawsuits alleging gastroparesis, gastroenteritis, and other side effects.
Manufactured by Eli Lilly, Mounjaro (tirzepatide) functions as a dual-acting agonist for GIP and GLP-1 receptors. GIP and GLP-1 are natural incretin hormones. Mounjaro aids in reducing fasting and postprandial glucose levels, curbs food intake, and can lead to weight reduction in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Ozempic (semaglutide), manufactured by Novo Nordisk, acts exclusively as a GLP-1 receptor agonist. By binding to GLP-1 receptors, it stimulates insulin release from the pancreas when necessary and slows down the rate at which food moves through the digestive system. This mechanism can contribute to a feeling of satiety, reduced food consumption, and subsequent weight loss.
According to Dr. Akshaya Srikanth Bhagavathula, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas who has studied tirzepatide, Mounjaro may cause more severe side effects when compared to Ozempic.
How Much Can You Get for an Ozempic Lawsuit?
The compensation you could recover in an Ozempic lawsuit depends on your claims for damages, whether the case resolves in a settlement, and other variables. Generally, an Ozempic settlement may cover several types of damages, including (but not limited to):
Medical Care (past and future): Covers a variety of medical expenses, including hospitals stays, medications, and more.
Lost Income and Wages (past and future): If your injuries rendered you incapable of carrying out your professional duties or required you to miss a significant amount of time off work.
Pain and Suffering (past and future): Compensation for the physical and emotional anguish endured as a result of Ozempic side effects.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life (past and future): If your injuries impede your ability to participate in activities that previously brought you joy and fulfillment.
Punitive Damages: Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are designed to punish negligent corporations for committing willful, malicious, and intentional acts, and to deter others from similar wrongdoing. While they are not always awarded, punitive damages can be substantial.
HOW TO JOIN OZEMPIC LAWSUIT
You may qualify for an Ozempic lawsuit if you:
- Used Ozempic, Wegovy, or Rybelsus (any brand semaglutide medication)
- Were diagnosed with gastrointestinal issues like gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), gastroenteritis, severe vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea
Attorneys allege the warning labels on Ozempic and other semaglutide medications were insufficient, putting consumers at risk of serious harm. Filing an Ozempic lawsuit allows you to seek justice and compensation for your injuries. It also sends a message to Novo Nordisk that putting profit above people comes at a price.
Be advised: States have statutes of limitations that restrict how long you have to file an Ozempic case. Please contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected.
You can find out if you are eligible to file an Ozempic lawsuit and hold Novo Nordisk accountable by calling (855) 948-5098 today.
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