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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 Januvia?

The diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin) controls blood-sugar levels by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin. Recent studies suggest it could over-stimulate the pancreas leading to inflammation, known as pancreatitis, or may cause pancreatic cancer. As the FDA investigates these risks, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed and centralized in one federal court in California.

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.

Following coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings, 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.

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 reinstates 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, the U.S. District Judge 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. 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.
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.

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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