Compensation for Pancreatic Cancer Patients Who Used Saxenda, Victoza, Januvia, Janumet, Byetta, Bydureon

Prescription drugs Saxenda, Victoza, Januvia, Janumet, Byetta, and Bydureon are commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes, but studies and correlations have shown dangerously high risks for deadly side effects including pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. This has  raised very serious questions about whether the drugs’ risks outweigh their benefits and what the manufacturers of the drugs may or may not have known of these risks.

According to attorneys for the plaintiffs, the defendants knew or should have known that consumers would foreseeably and needlessly suffer injury or death as a result of defendants’ failures, still defendants failed to provide timely and adequate warnings to physicians, pharmacies, and consumers about the foreseeable risks of pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis.

Allegation against Saxenda, Januvia, Janumet, Byetta and Victoza

Allegations in complaints against this group of drugs and their makers include:

  • The faulty formulation of Saxenda, Januvia, Janumet, Byetta and Victoza increased the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • The drugs are defective and cause “unreasonable and dangerous side effects.”
  • The manufacturers failed to adequately test the incretin mimetic drugs and monitor side effects before selling them.
  • The manufacturers should have known about the side effects but didn’t warn doctors or patients about the risks.
  • The drugmakers concealed the risks of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer from health care providers and the public.
  • Drugmakers do not specifically include the words “pancreatic cancer” on the drugs’ labels.
  • Current warnings for Januvia, Janumet, Byetta and Victoza are inadequate.

Drugs and Defendents

"In 2013, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated these cases in California federal court in multidistrict litigation (MDL) number 2452, In Re: Incretin Mimetics Products Liability Litigation."

The drugs at issue are:  Januvia brand sitagliptin and Janumet, a combination of Januvia and metformin, made by Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp.; Byetta brand exenatide, made by Amylin Pharmaceuticals LLC and co-promoted by AstraZeneca; Victoza brand liraglutide, made by Novo Nordisk Inc.; and Tradjenta brand linagliptin, made by Eli Lilly and Co.  The drugs are glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists or dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and are sometimes described as incretin mimetics.

The drugs are prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes or weight loss and can help control blood glucose levels.

The defendants twice moved for preemption summary judgment, arguing that it would be impossible for them to comply with federal labeling requirements and state tort law, given the FDA’s opinions regarding a causal association between the drugs and pancreatic cancer.

The plaintiffs countered that the FDA did not expressly reject a label reference to pancreatic cancer and, therefore, under U.S. Supreme Court case law, there is no “clear evidence” that the agency would have rejected such a warning.

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