Byetta, Januvia, and Victoza re-targeted over Pancreatic Cancer claims. Byetta, Januvia, and Victoza are back in the crosshairs over Pancreatic Cancer claims with the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rulings.
Type 2 Diabetes the Modern Plague
It appears that type 2 diabetic patients cannot catch a break. Firstly, they are burdened with this catastrophic modern disease process that practically affects every organ in the body and leads to premature death. And then adding salt to the wounds, the three popular drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes are under fire for allegedly increasing the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer as most folks know is a death sentence with a short window, diagnosis to death is usually under a year.
What are Byetta, Januvia, and Victoza?
Byetta, Victoza, Januvia, and Janumet are a new class of diabetes medications, known as Incretin Mimetics. Unfortunately, Byetta, Victoza, Januvia, and Janumet have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
According to injured plaintiffs, the drug makers knew these medications may increase the development of pancreatic cancer, but they failed to warn diabetic patients and the doctors.
What is Byetta?
Byetta (exenatide) made by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb is a type 2 diabetes drug which was approved by the FDA in April 2005 to help reduce blood sugar levels. Byetta is a twice-daily injectable drug.
What is Januvia?
Januvia (sitagliptin) made by Merck was approved in October 2006 as the first in a new class of diabetes medications, known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. Janumet combines Januvia and metformin for diabetics who do not achieve good glucose control from the single medication.
What is Victoza?
Victoza (liraglutide) made by Novo Nordisk is a once-daily injectable type 2 diabetes drug it was approved by the FDA in 2010.
Hundreds of Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuits Centralized in California
In July 2013, the JPML judges centralized all pancreatic cancer cases from the use of Byetta, Januvia, and Victoza. By January 2016, over 750 lawsuits were transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, overseen by Judge Antony Battaglia: In Re: Incretin Mimetics Products Liability Litigation MDL.
Judge Battaglia granted a motion for summary judgment in 2015, finding that the claims were pre-empted by federal law, in other words, that these companies were immune from lawsuits. According to Judge Battaglia, the claims were preempted because the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had never required the drugs’ manufacturers to include pancreatic cancer warnings on their product labels.
Plaintiffs appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which issued an opinion on December 6, 2017, which reversed the Judge Battaglia’s ruling and reinstated the lawsuits.
In essence, the federal appeals court has revived more than 900 Byetta, Januvia, Janumet, and Victoza pancreatic cancer lawsuits.
Litigation Update 2018
In March 2018, Judge Battaglia who previously dismissed the litigation has adopted a new schedule for the revived litigation, which indicates the first case may not go before a jury until January 2020.
Januvia and Pancreatic Cancer Link
Januvia increases hormones known as incretins that tell the pancreas to make more insulin. After long-term treatment, according to experts, it is possible that incretin therapy could lead to pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation). Chronic pancreatitis and diabetes are known risk factors for the development of pancreatic cancer.
Medical studies raise concerns of Pancreatic Cancer with Incretin Mimetics
A study of over one million type 2 diabetics in Taiwan found a statistically significant increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer among Januvia users.
Tseng, C., “Sitagliptin and pancreatic cancer risk in patients with type 2 diabetes,” Eur J Clin Invest 2016; 46 (1): 70–79.
Another study of over 500,000 type 2 diabetics in Europe found a statistically significant increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer among all incretin users.
Boniol, et al., “Incretin-Based Therapies and the Short-term Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: Results From Two Retrospective Cohort Studies,” Diabetes Care Feb 2018, 41 (2) 286-292.
The LEADER clinical trial of Victoza, which Defendant Novo Nordisk fought to keep under wraps during discovery, showed a massive imbalance of pancreatic cancer cases in the group taking Victoza, 13 to 5, representing a hazard ratio of 2.59.
Developed Pancreatic Cancer from taking Byetta, Januvia or Victoza?
The Dr. Shezad Malik is investigating and accepting Pancreatic Cancer cases from Byetta, Januvia, and Victoza nationwide. If you or somebody you know is diabetic, took these medications and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you should contact our Byetta, Januvia and Victoza lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form to contact our Byetta, Januvia and Victoza team or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (888) 210-9693.
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Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a Texas Medical Doctor (retired) and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.