San Diego, CA (PRWEB) November 27, 2013
Resource4thePeople announced today in its latest consumer update involving lawsuits* alleging that a class of diabetes medications including Januvia, Janumet, Byetta and Victoza may cause pancreatitis, cancer and other dangerous side effects that there have been an important new development in consolidated federal litigation.
The judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation in which lawsuits from across the country over these allegations has been grouped has recently set deadlines in which lawyers for the plaintiffs must define their allegations and lawyers for the defendants must respond.
“The parties are continuing to meet and confer regarding the composition of a Master Consolidated Complaint and a Master Consolidated Answer,” said U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia in his latest order issued Nov. 25, 2013, according to the court file.
Battaglia wrote that if there is no further impasse between the two sides the plaintiffs must file their master consolidated complaint no later than Nov. 29, 2013, and the defendants must file their master consolidated answer no later than Dec. 31, 2013.
"This order was issued after the latest status conference on Nov. 21, 2013, at which the judge was briefed on the progress of the case by attorneys for both sides,” said Resource4thePeople. “The filing of a master complaint will define the allegations in this litigation and the response will provide an answer to the charges from the defendants.
“This consolidated litigation is still in the early stages and we are informing consumers who may have been affected by these allegations that our national network of attorneys will continue to offer free consultations to those consumers who have not filed an action but wish to review their legal options to seek compensation.”
Judge Battaglia in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California was assigned the litigation by a federal judiciary panel** because of common allegations that the diabetes medications may cause pancreatic cancer.
Typical of the allegations are those contained in a lawsuit *** filed by a Stamford, Conn. woman who has brought multiple claims on behalf of herself and other consumers against the manufacturers of one of the medications, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
The Connecticut woman's lawsuit alleges that she was prescribed and used Januvia beginning in or around July, 2009 and continued using it until at least January, 2011. She claims she was later diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has suffered severe physical, economic and emotional injuries as a result of using the drug, according to the case file.
"As a result of the defective nature of Januvia, persons who were prescribed and ingested Janumet, which contains Januvia, for even a brief period of time, including Plaintiff herein, were at increased risk for developing life-threatening pancreatic cancer," she alleges in her lawsuit. "Once that cancer spreads, a patient stands just a 1.8% chance of surviving for longer than five years."
She also claims in the lawsuit that "Defendants concealed their knowledge that Janumet can cause life threatening pancreatic cancer from Plaintiff, other consumers, the general public, and the medical community. Indeed, the manufacturers of Januvia and Janumet do not even mention pancreatic cancer in their drug's respective product inserts."
The common allegations in the litigation before Judge Battaglia were spelled out by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation:**
“Plaintiffs in all actions allege that the use of one or more of four anti-diabetic incretin based medications – Janumet (sitagliptin combined with metformin), Januvia (sitagliptin), Byetta (exenatide) and Victoza (liraglutide) – caused them or their decedent to develop pancreatic cancer,” the panel said.
Possible links between these medications and pancreatitis and cancer were announced in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration March 14, 2013 health advisory**** that also said officials were conducting an investigation into the medications’ side effects.
The FDA identified these drugs as exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon), liraglutide (Victoza), sitagliptin (Januvia, Janumet, Janumet XR, Juvisync), saxagliptin (Onglyza, Kombiglyze XR), alogliptin (Nesina, Kazano, Oseni), and linagliptin (Tradjenta, Jentadueto).
These medications are known as incretin mimetic drugs and are a commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of diabetes, the FDA said.
The FDA said in its advisory that its findings were based on examination of a small number of pancreatic tissue specimens taken from patients after they died from unspecified causes .
The FDA has asked researchers to provide the methodology used to collect and study these specimens and to provide the tissue samples so the agency can further investigate its concerns.
The agency said the medications are used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.
In its announcement, the FDA reiterated a previous public warning “about postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including fatal and serious nonfatal cases, associated with the use of incretin mimetic drugs exenatide and sitagliptin.”
An agency official also said that a recently published study that examined insurance records also found the use of exenatide or sitagliptin could double the risk of developing acute pancreatitis.
Resource4thePeople also is recommending that consumers update themselves on media reports about the side effects, such as one posted March 22, 2013 by Bloomberg News about the research study and concerns about the safety of the medication as voiced by the FDA earlier and by physicians:*****
*3:13-md-02452 IN RE: INCRETIN MIMETICS PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
*** Case # 3:13cv02382 United States District Court for the Southern District of California