October 13, 2008

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Byetta, is trying to boost the reputation of its diabetes drug by flaunting a new study that shows Byetta to be more effective than another popular diabetes medication. At least one drug industry analyst, however, has characterized the research, which compares Byetta to Januvia, as a ploy meant to focus attention away from Byetta’s association with pancreatitis.

In September 2008, Amylin Pharmaceuticals released a study at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Rome that compared Byetta with Merck’s diabetes treatment Januvia. According to Natixis Bleichroeder analyst Jon LeCroy, “this is clearly a marketing study to give their reps more stuff to talk about. You wouldn’t do this study unless you knew your drug was better.”

Lecroy further criticized the study by saying it compares “apples to oranges.” Januvia, a once-daily pill in the DPP-IV inhibitor class of drugs, is normally prescribed by primary care physicians to patients experiencing the earlier signs of type 2 diabetes. Byetta, on the other hand, is a twice daily injectable of the GLP-1 class of drugs and is usually prescribed by a specialist for people with advanced cases of type 2 diabetes that need the added effects of weight loss and appetite suppression.

Lecroy’s comments suggest that the questionable Byetta study is nothing more than a desperate attempt by Amylin to distract consumers from the negative publicity Byetta has recently received. Byetta, which was approved by the FDA in 2005, has recently been in the new because of a study linking Byetta to severe, and potentially fatal, cases of pancreatitis. In fact, Byetta may be to blame for at least six deaths caused by severe cases of pancreatitis.

The first two deaths linked to Byetta were announced by the FDA on August 18, 2008, when the FDA issued a public statement notifying health professionals of two deaths and four hospitalizations in Byetta patients who had pancreatitis. The four additional deaths, which were announced by Byetta’s makers later the same month, are not connected with the four hospitalizations announced by the FDA.

All six deaths were caused by hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis. Hemorrhagic pancreatitis and necrotizing pancreatitis are both extremely dangerous forms of pancreatitis with high death rates.

Byetta Side Effects Lawyers

If you or a love done took Byetta and experienced a serious side effect, such as pancreatitis, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by