Merck & Co. may have attributed disappointing first-quarter earnings results in May to growing competition from generic drugs and unfavorable exchange rates, but the company may soon see lower profits caused by a rising number of Januvia lawsuit claims stemming from the type-2 diabetes medication.

According to a May 1st report from Canadian publication, The Vancouver Sun, Januvia sales fell 4 percent to $884 million in Merck & Co.’s first quarter. Because Januvia is the company’s top-performing medication, this may be damaging to its growth if the decline continues. “The market is very competitive,” said Merck’s head of prescription marketing. “We are seeing rebate and pricing pressures as newer competitors seek to increase their market share” by offering health plans bigger discounts and rebates. Overall, the company’s first quarter revenue weighed in at $10.67 billion. Down from $11.73 billion, that is well below the $11.11 billion analysts expected.

Merck also announced in May its recent partnership with Pfizer, Inc. to develop a diabetes drug that works in combination with other drugs or as a sole treatment. This drug would work differently than Januvia.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuing to investigate the dangers of Januvia and other incretin mimetics including Byetta. This class of type-2 diabetes drugs has been linked to pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer in a growing number of lawsuits filed by patients who took the medications.

For Januvia in particular, the FDA became aware of 88 post-marketing cases of acute pancreatitis in Januvia patients in 2009, and installed a caution of the drug’s risk to cause or worsen the illness on its label. Two years later, a study published in Gastroenterology in 2011 found an increased risk of Januvia to cause pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. Two cases of thyroid cancer were also reported in the Merck & Co. manufactured drug.

Januvia Lawsuits Likely to Rise

Following numerous claims over Januvia and other incretin mimetics, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) is considering whether to consolidate lawsuits in a single federal proceeding. The Panel met to discuss the matter on July 25, and is expected to reach a decision soon. All of these cases allege incretin mimetics may increase a patient’s risk for developing pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and potentially thyroid cancer.

Starting the Process of Filing a Januvia Lawsuit

The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are eager to hear from anyone who took Januvia or a similar diabetes medication and may have suffered injuries. Call the Firm at (877) 779-1414 to learn more about Januvia lawsuits.

Published August 13, 2013 by