If you have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and have been living with type 2 diabetes, you may want to review your medication history for these drugs. Our experienced medical attorneys are prepared to fight on your behalf if you've taken one of these drugs and developed pancreatic cancer.
Incretin Mimetics and Pancreatic Cancer
According to an April 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the use of Byetta or Januvia by adults with type 2 diabetes was “associated with significantly increased odds of acute pancreatitis.” Chronic pancreatitis may lead to pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer can be an aggressive form of cancer.
Following the publication of this study, the FDA released a safety communication regarding the “possible increased risk of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous findings of the pancreas from incretin mimetic drugs for type 2 diabetes.”
Additionally, a 2011 study published in the medical journal Gastroenterology, showed that diabetics who took Byetta or Januvia were six times more likely to report pancreatitis than those treated with other drugs. Diabetics taking Byetta or Januvia were 2.9 times and 2.7 times more likely, respectively, to report pancreatic cancer than those taking other medications.
Januvia is promoted by its manufacturer, Merck (NYSE: MRK), as a once-daily prescription pill that helps adults with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar levels. In September 2009, the FDA revised the prescribing information for Januvia and alerted healthcare professionals to monitor diabetic patients taking this medication for signs of pancreatitis. Januvia is generically known as sitagliptin.
Merck allegedly failed to adequately test Januvia and failed to provide adequate risk information to the FDA, healthcare professionals and patients.
Manufactured by Novo Nordisk, Victoza is a once-daily injection for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults to help lower blood sugar levels, along with diet and exercise. It is generically known as liraglutide.
The use of Victoza is associated with the risk of pancreatitis, as well as the risk of medullary thyroid cancer. The FDA is requiring Novo Nordisk to conduct a five-year epidemiological study and to create a medullary thyroid cancer registry to monitor cases related to Victoza use.
Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin)
Janumet, also manufactured by Merck, is a prescription medication in tablet form that has been prescribed for use along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. Janumet contains both sitagliptin and metformin.
Byetta is an injectable prescription medicine that can help control blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, in conjunction with diet and exercise. The manufacturer, Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN), markets Byetta as capable of lowering blood sugar levels and being safe to prescribe with other diabetic medications. Byetta is generically known as exenatide.
It has been alleged that Amylin Pharmaceuticals failed to test Byetta properly before bringing it to market and then failed to provide adequate information to the FDA about the drug’s risks. Learn more about the FDA’s warnings about Byettta.
Contact a Diabetes Drug Attorney
If you or someone you know was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking one of these prescription drugs, please contact medical attorney Kimberly Barone Baden by email or call 1.800.768.4026 to discuss your potential lawsuit.