Our firm is passionate and dedicated towards working tirelessly for our clients.  Our efforts recently gained national recognition via Law360.  Law360 is a popular and trusted online legal news outlet whose subscribers include: the top 100 law firms in the United Sates, corporate legal departments, and major federal and state agencies.  Phillips Law Firm received its recognition for its pursuit of justice in a pharmaceutical related suit involving more than 600 claimants.

The Case of Gloria Herrera et al. v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP et al.

As reported by Law360, Lowell W. Finson of Phillips Law Firm is legal counsel for numerous plaintiffs in the above cited action.  The action essentially pertains to the drug Crestor.  Crestor is a prescription drug that belongs to a group of cholesterol –lowering medicines called statins.  The drug was first launched in 2003.  It was created by London based AstraZeneca LP and is distributed by the American company McKesson Corp.  Crestor is the fifth-highest selling drug in the United States and accounted for approximately $2.6 billion in sales for 2013.

Mr. Finson is seeking justice against the pharmaceutical industry on behalf of a group of consumers that believe deception is intertwined with Crestor’s prescription.  In particular, the consumers claim AstraZeneca and McKesson (the defendants in the action) deceived them by hiding test results linking Crestor to diabetes and other diseases.  They allege that studies performed by the defendants show that Crestor is connected with higher risks of kidney damage, cardiomyopathy and heart disease.  The claimants further allege that the defendants conspired to suppress or misrepresent their studies to ensure that doctors would continue to prescribe Crestor to their patients.

The complaint in the matter communicates a story of concern for patient safety.  According to this document:

  • “Defendants well knew that prescribing physicians would not be in a position to know the true risks of Crestor and…would rely upon the misleading information that they promulgated.”
  • “Defendants sold or aided and abetted in the sale of Crestor which was and is defective and unreasonably dangerous.”
  • “Defendants knew or should have known that Crestor was and is hazardous to human health.”

The claimants in this action allege that they would not have used Crestor if they were aware, or had known, about the drug’s numerous health risks.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the pharmaceutical industry is a big deal where a single drug can earn manufacturers and distributors billions of dollars.  For example, McKesson reaped the benefits of pharmaceutical sales of $122 billion in 2012.  As of December of 2011, AstraZeneca had a market capitalization of approximately 39.5 billion British pounds.  This is the tenth largest capitalization of any company with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange.

More Hard Work on the Horizon

The arduous efforts of Mr. Finson and the Phillips Law Firm in this matter are far from over.  Much more work lays on the horizon; but as always, Mr. Finson and Phillips Law is committed to ensuring the work gets completed.

The above described suit was originally filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last year.  As stated earlier, the entire suit involves over 600 claimants.  All of the individual claims and cases involved nearly twenty judges.  The plaintiffs tried to consolidate these claims so that they could all be tried together before one judge.

In response, the defendants recently tried to remove the suit to federal court.  The defendants’ basis for removal is not truly understood and their basis is not compellingly supported by existing law.  The defendants themselves have asked the court not to decide on the removal issue until federal court rules on a somewhat similar case.

Despite this request, however, two judges have already remanded the defendants’ removal efforts back to the Superior Court level.  Time will tell whether or not the defendants withdraw their removal attempts.  In the meantime, Mr. Finson continues to fight against the removal possibility and he marches on in the noble representation of his clients.

This Case is not Unique

The case of Gloria Herrera is not unique to the Phillips Law Firm.  Yes, the facts of every case our firm works with may differ.  However, a solidifying element within all of these cases is the hard work our firm and our attorneys put forth to ensure justice is sought and injuries are remedied.

Our unremitting work ethic is a value that we all honor and seek to uphold.  This is true no matter if a case is against the pharmaceutical industry, a motor vehicle driver, a member of the medical community, or a state agency.  Our attorneys work hard…each day and every day.  They work hard for their clients and they work hard for just results.


Have you ever heard a pharmaceutical company refer to a drug as a “wonder drug?” If you’re anything like us, it makes you wonder what they’re trying to hide, because there has yet been any drug that was a cure for any ailment without it’s almost nearly proportional risks. This is certainly true with AstraZeneca’s “wonder cholesterol drug” Crestor.

Crestor is a member of a category of cholesterol fighting drugs called statins. It’s estimated that about 24 million Americans take statins and that number is growing as the population is seemingly getting unhealthier and the ranks of obese Americans gets larger on a daily basis. However, even the healthiest people can have serious cholesterol problems under the right circumstances with the increased use of transfats in the average American diet.

Statins were initially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for reducing high cholesterol levels in order to prevent repeated heart attacks and strokes in at-risk patients. When used for that purpose, the drugs drive down the risk of another heart attack or stroke by lowering levels of LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol.

This is great news for healthier statin patients, however, Crestor patients also who might be at risk for diabetes may find their chances of catching the deadly disease increased.

Diabetes Study and Statins

According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and released in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine as part of the U.S. government’s Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) there is new evidence of a potential new side effect for some women who take statins, type 2 diabetes. UMMS researchers examined data from WHI’s ambitious national health study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in which 161,808 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79 were followed for 15 years, revealing a daunting amount of data, inspiring the UMMS study.

The UMMS study focused on 153,840 of those women who did not have diabetes at enrollment. After adjusting for confounding factors, statin use at baseline was associated with an eye popping 48% increased risk of diabetes. The association was observed for all types of statin medications, not just Crestor, however, Crestor is one of the most proscribed.

“These findings should have a significant impact on current clinical practice, as statin use has soared in recent years,” Senior author Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and an epidemiologist at UMMS said. “With an average of one in four Americans over 45 on these medications, it is imperative that future studies evaluate the risks as well as benefits of statin use among men, women and diverse ethnicities with different risk profiles.”

Doctors don’t know why statins increase diabetes risk but the findings are in line with previous smaller studies.

“We found that this association was true of both low potency and higher potency statins and appeared with shorter term use as well as longer term use,” said Dr. Jo Ann Manson, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Specialists emphasize that, since heart disease is one of the major complications of diabetes, no one should stop taking their medication. But the risk is something to consider and patients should consult their doctors, especially if they are concerned about their risk of diabetes or if it runs in their family.

Crestor and Diabetes

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients have pancreatic problems and though they can both be hereditary, type 1 is usually detected at birth or early in the person’s life, where as type 2 can be caused by serious health concerns such as weight. This weight is generally caused by a high fat or high sugar diet that can throw off the gluten (sugar) levels in the blood and can have a serious toll on the pancreas.

Insulin is produced in the pancreas in order to regulate the amount of sugar released into the body by the foods we eat. Type II diabetes is when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to get the job done, thus, the pancreas is already malfunctioning, even if it’s functioning normally for a generally healthy individual. By a radical change in diet and exercise, this trend can be reversed. There is thus far no cure for type 1 diabetes.

Perhaps the biggest concern is that Crestor patients are generally already at risk of heart attacks and strokes, two of the main symptoms of weight. By increasing patient’s chances of developing diabetes, they could be further putting the patient at risk due to the fact that the main type 2 diabetes drug approved by the FDA, Actos, has shown to increase the patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke. A vicious circle indeed.

It is up to the patient’s physician to monitor and council their patient as to what pharmaceutical regiment is right for them as well as giving advice regarding diet and exercise. It is the drug company’s job to fully inform the doctor of the risks associated with every drug they sell. However, if a drug or combination of drugs has proven to put the patient on a potentially deadly cycle, then the patient’s only recourse is to seek council from an experienced defective drug attorney that can help them seek compensation for their pain and suffering.

National Crestor Lawyers

If you are a current or recent patient who has been taking Crestor by prescription for any reason and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes since taking the drug, then you most likely have a Crestor Lawsuit.This means that you have been injured or your family member was killed by the serious side effects and may be entitled to compensation.

Phillips Law Firm is currently consulting patients and their families who have been injured by the side effects of Crestor on their legal rights. If you or someone you know has been hospitalized or killed by a Crestor side effect, it is very important that you procure skilled legal council that is experienced indefective drug litigation so that you can get the compensation you deserve. Call Phillips Law Firm for a free consultation.