Medical Drugs | Diabetes Lawsuit

Wegovy® Lawsuit

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Wegovy® is an injectable weight-loss drug used to help overweight and obese adults with weight management. It has recently gained public attention due to shortages, off-label use and serious side effects. If you or a loved one has been harmed by the drug, you may be eligible to file a Wegovy lawsuit.

Recent updates in Ozempic and Wegovy litigation

Feb. 2, 2024

Motley Rice has been at the forefront of this litigation, having filed the first Wegovy lawsuit in the country alleging severe health problems caused by the drug. Attorneys Jonathan Orent successfully argued for the assignment of the Ozempic MDL to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania during a hearing overseen by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation(JPML). Attorneys Sara Couch and Grace Chandler have been featured prominently as panelists for HarrisMartin’s January 2024 MDL Conference on Ozempic and Suboxone and multiple other conferences.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy is part of the drug class semaglutide. It is an injectable medication that the FDA-approved for weight loss. Novo Nordisk developed semaglutide drugs to manage diabetes and obesity. They work by regulating insulin release and mimicking natural hormones that give the feeling of being full after eating a meal. These are called satiety hormones. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a satiety hormone. 

Wegovy is a GLP-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA), which means it mimics the natural GLP-1 hormone. Other GLP-1 RA medications include semaglutide drugs like Ozempic® and Rybelsus®. Wegovy was developed after diabetes drug testing found semaglutide drugs caused weight loss. Wegovy is a higher dosage version of the diabetes drug Ozempic. 

The drug’s FDA approved label indicates usage for chronic weight management for overweight or obese adults with at least one weight-related condition. Weight-related conditions include high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. The approval also indicates that Wegovy should be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes like reduced caloric intake and increased exercise.

Wegovy differs from other semaglutide drugs in its dosage and approved treatable conditions. 

 

Ozempic

Wegovy

Delivery:

Injectable

Injectable

Dosage:

Begin at 0.25 mg weekly for 4 weeks. Increase dosage every week to 0.5 mg after 4 weeks. Doctors may authorize dosage increases to 2 mg weekly if needed.

Begin at 0.25 mg weekly for 4 weeks. Increase dosage every 4 weeks until total weekly dosage of 2.4 mg is reached.

Approved For:

Type 2 diabetes

Chronic weight management

 

Concerns over Wegovy: off-label use background

Many of the publicized concerns with Ozempic stem from the drug’s popular off-label usage for weight loss. However, Wegovy is approved as a weight loss drug for certain adults and children over 12 years old. 

Off-label usage occurs when medications are used to treat conditions they are not FDA-approved for. In general, this is a safe and accepted practice when a doctor is the one prescribing or recommending off-label usage. 

In Wegovy’s case, off-label usage can occur when individuals who are not medically overweight or obese use it to manage weight. Since the drug has not been tested when used this way, the potential for unwanted side effects may be higher.

Health issues related to Wegovy

Wegovy’s prescribing label highlights several potential side effects and reactions to the drug. These reactions were observed in clinical trials and included on the drug’s warning label:

  • Abdominal distension
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acute gallbladder disease
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Allergic reactions
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Eructation (burping)    
  • Fatigue
  • Flatulence
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Headache
  • Hypoglycemia (in diabetic patients)
  • Nasopharyngitis (cold)
  • Nausea
  • Thyroid C-cell tumors
  • Vomiting

Studies, consumer reports and lawsuits have highlighted other seeming side effects of semaglutide medications.

One study tied GLP-1 RAs to adverse impacts on the small intestine and blockages in the intestines and stomach. Wegovy users have also reported hospitalization due to gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), which is not included on the drug’s warning label but is believed to have caused it in some users.

These adverse events can be serious or even life-threatening. Patients taking Wegovy should be sure to discuss all of these potential side effects with their doctor. 

What are the Wegovy lawsuits about?

People are filing Wegovy lawsuits after experiencing serious and unexpected side effects that they believe were caused by the drug. For example, in September 2023, a Pennsylvania woman represented by Motley Rice filed a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer, Novo Nordisk.

The lawsuit details our client’s severe gastrointestinal issues and subsequent hospitalization for gastroparesis after taking Wegovy. This lawsuit addresses two main claims with Wegovy and its manufacturer, Novo Nordisk.

  • Failure to warn: The Pennsylvania lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff experienced side effects not included on the drug’s warning label.
  • Negligent misrepresentation and marketing: The lawsuit also alleges that Novo Nordisk misrepresented the severity of potential side effects and engaged in harmful marketing practices that targeted teens and minorities. 

Besides lawsuits filed by people harmed by the drug, Wegovy has also been involved in lawsuits filed by drug maker Novo Nordisk. The drug manufacturer has filed lawsuits against wellness and medical spas, weight loss clinics and compounding pharmacies for selling off-brand versions of Wegovy and Ozempic.

Consumers should be aware of these off-brand versions, which are untested and may come with additional side effects.

If you or a loved one took Wegovy and experienced severe side effects like gastroparesis, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

Our law firm has represented and achieved recoveries for plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. Compensation through verdicts or settlements can help you pay for medical expenses and give you peace of mind while you recover.

Is there a Wegovy class action lawsuit?

As of October 2023, there is no class action drug lawsuit against Novo Nordisk for people harmed by Wegovy. 

One or more plaintiffs file class action lawsuits for a larger group of people, or “class.” They can result in large verdicts or settlement awards. People included in the class can then file to receive their share of the financial compensation.

Our medical drug litigation experience

Our medical attorneys have represented thousands of patients seriously hurt by dangerous prescription and over-the-counter drugs. We understand that as a patient or family member, your knowledge of your or a loved one’s medications may be limited.

If you believe a medicine made you sick or hurt you, our attorneys have the resources needed to investigate thoroughly and:

  • Identify potentially harmful medicines
  • Determine if the medicine hurt you
  • Review the medicine manufacturer’s compliance with FDA regulations
  • Confirm if the manufacturer adequately warned you about potential side effects
  • Identify anything the manufacturer did wrong or illegal concerning your medicine
  • Recognize other issues that could affect your potential claim

Learn more about our medical drug experience here.


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