A growing body of research has sparked fears that Byetta, Januvia and other commonly prescribed type 2 diabetes drugs known as incretin mimetics may place patients at risk for pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer. Some researchers have also expressed concerns that the manufacturers of these drugs may have downplayed or ignored data that suggested Byetta, Januvia and other drugs in this class could have harmful effects on the pancreas. Now, patients throughout the country who developed Byetta or Januvia pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis or thyroid cancer have begun to file product liability lawsuits in order to obtain compensation for their injuries from the drugs’ manufacturers. The marketers of other incretin mimetics are also facing similar lawsuits in courts around the U.S.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating the dangers associated with incretin mimetics, and is offering free legal evaluations to anyone who may have developed Januvia or Byetta pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis or thyroid cancer. Our attorneys have successfully represented hundreds of people harmed by defective drugs and medical devices, and will work to ensure that you are fully compensated for your pain and suffering. To learn more about your legal options, please call us today to discuss your potential Byetta or Januvia lawsuit with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys.

Incretin Mimetics

Incretin mimetics are a class of type 2 diabetes drugs that mimic the action of the hormone incretin, which is produced in the stomach and prompts the pancreas to release insulin in response to a rise in blood sugar. In 2005, Byetta was the first incretin mimetic to garner approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and since then this class of drugs has generated billions of dollars in sales for their manufacturers. Some of the companies that make incretin mimetics are even trying to persuade the FDA to approve the medications as weight loss aids for patient without diabetes, as they have been shown to suppress appetite.

In addition to Byetta and Januvia, other incretin mimetics currently approved for sale in the U.S. include:

  • Bydureon
  • Victoza
  • Janumet
  • Janumet XR
  • Juvisync
  • Onglyza
  • Kombiglyze XR
  • Nesina
  • Kazano
  • Oseni
  • Tradjenta

Mounting Fears over Byetta, Januvia Side Effects

In March 2013, the FDA announced it was reviewing the safety of Januvia, Byetta and other incretin mimetics after findings from a small, unpublished study indicated the drugs could cause changes in the cells of the pancreas that might be a precursor to pancreatic cancer. However, this was not the first time medications like Byetta and Januvia were tied to harmful pancreatic side effects. In 2008, the FDA issued warnings regarding a potential danger of Byetta pancreatitis, while a similar warning was issued for Januvia pancreatitis in 2009.  Since then, a number of studies have added to concerns about these drugs. For example, research published in Gastroenterology in February 2011 reported that use of Januvia and Byetta may increase the risk for pancreatitis as much as six-fold. A JAMA Internal Medicine study published in February 2013 found Byetta and Januvia might double the risk for pancreatic cancer.

In April 2013, an analysis conducted by the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices reported that incretin mimetics were 25 times more likely to be linked to pancreatic cancer compared to other diabetes drugs. The analysis, which looked at adverse event reports made to the FDA over a 1 year period, tallied 177 cases of Januvia pancreatitis, 18 reports of Januvia pancreatic cancer, and 1 case of thyroid cancer in a Januvia patient. During same period, the FDA received 263 reports of Byetta pancreatitis, 71 reports of Byetta pancreatic cancer, and 14 reports of Byetta thyroid cancer.  As a class, incretin mimetics were associated with more than 800 reports of pancreatitis, 105 cases of pancreatic cancer, and 32 reports of thyroid cancer.

Months later, investigators with the British Medical Journal raised fears that the manufacturers of incretin mimetics had downplayed the drugs’ harmful effects on the pancreas. The researchers, who were able to obtain thousands of pages of unpublished data through Freedom of Information Act requests, wrote that their review indicated incretin mimetics could have an “unwanted proliferative or inflammatory pancreatic effect.”

Begin the Process of Filing a Januvia or Byetta Lawsuit

At Bernstein Liebhard LLP, our attorneys work every day to ensure the victims of harmful drugs and medical devices receive the compensation they deserve. Our Firm is offering free Januvia and Byetta lawsuit evaluations to victims of pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis and thyroid cancer that may be associated with the use of these and other incretin mimetics. To learn how our attorneys may be able to help you obtain compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today, by calling 1-877-779-1414.

Published November 17, 2011 by