San Diego, CA (PRWEB) September 13, 2013
Resource4thePeople announced today that a federal judiciary panel has approved* the consolidation of dozens of federal lawsuits alleging that pancreatitis and other serious health problems can be caused by Byetta and similar type 2 diabetes medications.
“The decision by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation means that a single federal judge will now be overseeing pre-trial litigation and evidence-gathering involving cases from across the country alleging that Byetta and similar drugs caused cancer of the pancreas or thyroid,” said Resource4thePeople.
“As a result of this action we expect an increase in the number of consumer inquiries about their rights to seek compensation for serious side effects similar to those alleged in these lawsuits and our national network of attorneys will continue to offer them free consultations.”
The federal panel heard oral arguments July 25 over whether lawsuits involving allegations against Byetta, Januvia and Victoza, among other medications, should be consolidated before a single federal judge overseeing pre-trial evidence-gathering and other legal actions, according to the court file.**
"Both the plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits over these allegations and the defendants agreed with the consolidation of these lawsuits and that the proper court for these cases should be the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California in San Diego,” said Resource4thePeople.
In its order the judicial panel said that it is usually reluctant to create multidistrict litigations involving multiple products but that these lawsuits address similar allegations.
“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.
There are at least 53 lawsuits assigned so far to the San Diego court and Resource4thePeople is advising consumers inquiring about their possible claims that they will be eligible to file additional cases in the future as the multidistrict litigation progresses.
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.
“There are a significant number of Americans who treat their diabetes with these medications and the FDA announcement has had widespread ramifications in terms of patients seeking information about their legal options,” said Resource4thePeople.
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 potential pancreatic toxicity associated with the incretin mimetics.
Byetta was originally approved by the FDA and released onto the market in 2005, with its primary function being to help patients with diabetes manage their condition.
It is applied by injection and it and the other medications, according to the FDA, mimic the incretin hormones that the body usually produces naturally to stimulate the release of insulin in response to a meal.
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.
The official said that the Warnings and Precautions section of the drug labels and the patient Medication Guides for incretin mimetics contain warnings about the risk of acute pancreatitis.
Resource4thePeople also is providing consumers some of the cautionary analysis about Byetta and its sister drugs. Here are some of the warnings and precautions taken from the agency’s web site:****
What is the most important information I should know about BYETTA?
Serious side effects can happen in people who take BYETTA, including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) which may be severe and lead to death. Before taking BYETTA, tell your health care provider if you have had:
- stones in your gallbladder (gallstones).
- a history of alcoholism.
- high blood triglyceride levels.
These medical conditions can make you more likely to get pancreatitis in general. It is not known if having these conditions will lead to a higher chance of getting pancreatitis while taking BYETTA.
Resource4thePeople also is recommending that consumers update themselves on media reports about the side effects, such as one recently posted by Bloomberg News about the research study and concerns about the safety of the medication as voiced by the FDA earlier and by physicians:*****
“Doctors have been concerned that this category of diabetes treatments may damage the pancreas since the FDA said in 2007 it received a high number of reports of pancreatitis in patients taking Byetta.
**MDL #2452 In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liability Litigation., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California