San Diego, CA (PRWEB) February 27, 2014
Resource4thePeople announced today its latest update for consumers following allegations in lawsuits* claiming that the use of the diabetes medications Januvia, Byetta, Janumet and Victoza may cause pancreatic cancer.
“Recent statistics provided by federal court officials show that there has been a steady increase in the number of lawsuits involving claims about this class of drugs, known as incretin mimetics,” said Resource4thePeople.
“As the number of cases has increased so has the number of inquiries we have been receiving from consumers about our free consultations over these allegations and the legal options that may be available to these consumers to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other costs.”
The latest figures** provided by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation shows that there are now 306 cases from across the country that have been consolidated before a U.S. District Court judge in San Diego.
The figures were compiled as of Feb. 19, 2014, the end of the latest reporting period for the U.S. District Court for Southern California.
“The court docket in these cases* also shows that the judge assigned to oversee these cases has begun setting guidelines for how the cases will proceed as pre-trial evidence gathering begins,” said Resource4thePeople.
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 largest group of incretin mimetic drug lawsuits* has been consolidated before the federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California because they share common allegations that the medications cause life-threatening pancreatic cancer.
The multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California was approved**** by a federal judiciary panel because of common allegations that the diabetes medications may cause pancreatic cancer.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation In its order described the common 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.
The cases have been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia, who has been meeting regularly with attorneys for the plaintiffs and those representing the drug manufacturers, according to the court docket.
Resource4thePeople will monitor these developments and continue to update consumers who are following this litigation or are considering seeking compensation in connection with these allegations.
Among the lawsuits is one***** filed by a Stamford, Conn. woman who has brought multiple allegations 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 FDA said in its health 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.”
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:******
“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," Bloomberg reported.
*MDL #2452 In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies 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