NC man sues maker of Viagra, claiming drug gave him skin cancer - | WBTV Charlotte

NC man sues maker of Viagra, claiming drug gave him skin cancer

(AP Photo/Daniel Roland) (AP Photo/Daniel Roland)
CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

A Cleveland County man is suing the maker of Viagra, claiming the drug gave him melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.

According to the lawsuit, Willard Hoffman took Viagra between 2011 and 2014, when he was diagnosed with a lesion growing on his scalp was diagnosed as melanoma.

Attorneys for Hoffman claim in the lawsuit that Pfizer, the company that makes Viagra, should have warned Hoffman and other men who take the drug of the possible side effects use of the drugs have related to melanoma.

The lawsuit cites at least three studies conducted in 2011, 2012 and 2014 that found a link between the mechanism of action for Viagra and the generation of melanocytes, the cells that turn into melanoma.

WEB EXTRA: Click here to see the lawsuit

“Viagra mimics an effect of gene activation and therefore may potentially function as a trigger for the creation of melanoma cells,” the lawsuit says.

One of the studies cited in the lawsuit was published in the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine in 2014. According to the lawsuit, the study found men taking the active ingredient in Viagra were found to have an 84 percent greater risk of developing melanoma.

The lawsuit claims Pfizer should have disclosed melanoma as a known risk or possible side effect of taking Viagra. The suit seeks damages that Hoffman incurred as a result of developing melanoma and also asks for punitive damages.

“Viagra’s safety and efficacy have been studied in 136 clinical trials and there is no reliable scientific evidence that the medicine causes melanoma," a spokesperson said in relation to the lawsuit. "Pfizer stands behind this important medicine and intends to vigorously defend this lawsuit."

Copyright 2015 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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