If you're living with diabetes, the last thing you should have to worry about is life-threatening side effects from your diabetes medication. Recent studies, however, have found that Type 2 diabetes patients taking drugs classified as Incretin Mimetics —including, Januvia®, Victoza®, Janumet® and Byetta®— are potentially three times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, a particularly aggressive form of cancer that is most often diagnosed in the later stages. If you or a loved one has taken one of these drugs and developed pancreatic cancer, our medical attorneys are prepared to fight on your behalf.
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.
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.
Revived Incretin Mimetics Litigation
In December 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived hundreds of claims that were previously dismissed by a San Diego federal judge in 2015 on the grounds that the FDA did not require incretin mimetics manufacturers to warn of the potential risk of pancreatic cancer. The Ninth Circuit disagreed and allowed the claims in the MDL to move forward after determining that newly discovered and/or withheld information on the link between the drugs and pancreatic cancer could have influenced the FDA’s requirements for a stricter warning label.
Similarly in November 2018, the California Court of Appeals stated that it was in agreement with the Ninth Circuit’s findings, and thereby revived claims in state court.
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.
Please note that we are not reviewing metformin only cases.
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.
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.
Motley Rice Diabetes Attorneys
We know that experiencing complications from a prescription can be difficult and confusing for you and your family. Motley Rice attorneys Kimberly Barone Baden, Ann E. Rice Ervin, and Hank Young along with our staff, have worked with hundreds of diabetic patients, helping them navigate drug lawsuits, not only related to pancreatic cancer and incretin mimetics, but also increased risk of bladder cancer allegedly associated with medications Actos® and Duetact®, as well as risks of kidney failure associated with SGLT2 Inhibitors: Invokana®, Invokamet®, Farxiga®, and Xigduo XR®.
Consult a medical professional before stopping or changing any medication.