An estimated 100 million American adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to recent figures from the CDC. The advent of diabetes drugs has made managing the disease and its ill-effects on the body a reality for the vast majority. Unfortunately, there are serious health concerns surrounding Incretin Mimetics and SGLT2 inhibitors – medications prescribed to lower blood glucose in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Current litigation involving diabetes drugs
Showard Law Firm is highly skilled in complex litigation against Big Pharma and advocates for those who have been injured after taking diabetes medications that were intended to help, not harm. We believe that manufacturers of diabetes drugs should be held accountable for failing to warn about life-threatening side effects. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with cancer, pancreatitis or other harm following Incretin Mimetic therapy, you may have grounds for filing a diabetes medication lawsuit.
Incretin Mimetics linked to pancreatitis, cancer
Incretin Mimetics have been on the market since 2005. This class of diabetes drugs works to regulate glucose levels by mimicking incretin hormones that the body typically produces to stimulate insulin release following a meal. Incretins stimulate a hormone in the gut that tells the pancreas to produce more insulin, which reduces blood sugar levels.While this mechanism of action is effective for treating Type 2 diabetes, it may do so at the expense of pancreatic health.
Incretin Mimetic drugs currently approved by the FDA include:
- Januvia, Janumet XR, and Juvisync
- Victoza and Saxenda
- Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR
- Nesina, Oseni and Kazano
The most alarming long-term side effects linked to Incretin Mimetic drugs are a higher risk for developing acute pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, kidney damage and thyroid cancer.
FDA investigates cancer risks
Following growing reports of acute necrotizing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) after taking Incretin Mimetic therapy with Byetta, the FDA ordered a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to investigate health risks. By 2011, health officials cautioned that studies had shown that use of Januvia and Byetta could double the risk of developing acute pancreatitis – a frequent precursor to cancer. In 2013, the FDA issued a drug safety communication announcing the agency was investigating whether Incretin Mimetic drugs could cause or contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer litigation
Several observational studies have linked incretin-based therapies such as DPP4-inhibitors and GLP-1 mimetics to a heightened risk of pancreatic cancer, raising the question if diabetes drug makers knew this potential side effect, but withheld the information. It is alleged that manufacturers of Januvia, Janumet, Byetta and other top-selling diabetes drugs failed in their duty to warn healthcare providers and consumers about all known health risks to protect sales and their own best interest./pancreatic-cancer
Pancreatic cancer is still largely incurable, with a 5-year survival rate of just 7 percent. In 2013, the first wave of Incretin Mimetic lawsuits was filed, in which plaintiffs argued the drugs caused cancerous tumors in the pancreas. According to the legal complaints, the defendants knowingly and purposefully withheld information about pancreatic cancer risks to avoid delays in their drug’s FDA approval and marketability.
At Showard Law Firm we help people injured by dangerous drugs get their day in court and have the resources to fight for maximum compensation. There is no cost to speak with a diabetes drug lawyer at our firm and explore your rights to compensation.
Diabetes Medications Lawsuit: MDL 2452
Litigation over incretin drugs such as Januvia, Janumet, Victoza and Byetta has escalated dramatically in recent years with more than 1,000 claims filed nationwide. Plaintiffs level a number of allegations against the defendants, arguing that drug makers failed to perform pre-market safety tests, knew or should have known about pancreatic cancer risks and failed to provide adequate warnings on side effects to the public. Manufacturers including Merck, Eli Lilly, Amylin and Novo Nordisk face claims of negligence, and strict product liability among others.
In 2013, Incretin Mimetic cases were centralized under Multidistrict Litigation (MDL No. 2452), before the Honorable Anthony Battaglia in the Southern District of California. By consolidating federal claims that involve similar factual issues and allegations and allowing both parties to pool resources and share in pre-trial discovery, this expedites the legal process in complex product liability litigation. Lawsuits that do not settle are remanded to their original court for trial.
Diabetes medication litigation is still underway, and generally it’s not too late to speak with an attorney at Showard Law about your options for legal recourse. Our talented trial lawyers are well-versed in mass torts and welcome the opportunity to take on challenging cases against Big Pharma.
Verdicts and firm settlements
Patients file diabetes drug lawsuits not only to secure just compensation for their losses, but to hold manufacturers accountable for putting profits over safety. This complex product liability litigation is moving forward in the legal process, and plaintiff attorneys are working diligently to ensure the most favorable outcomes. A jury verdict or settlement can help offset the injuries and financial burdens caused by a dangerous drug. When injuries lead to hospitalization, lost income and a significant decrease in quality of life, litigation can be the most effective means to obtaining justice. Monetary damages are intended to make the injured whole again, by providing reimbursement for medical bills, emotional distress, lost earning capacity and other economic losses.
Invokana and other sodium/glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors like Invokamet and Farxiga manage diabetes by blocking glucose absorption in the bloodstream. This class of diabetes drugs has been linked to an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) as well as kidney failure. DKA is a potentially fatal condition in which blood acids reach dangerously high levels. If not treated, this complication can lead to brain swelling, seizures, coma and death.
In May of 2015, the FDA cautioned the medical community and public that SGLT-2 inhibitors could cause diabetic ketoacidosis, and one year later officials stated that SGLT2 inhibitor drug use can increase the odds of needing foot or leg amputation. In June of 2016, another communication was published with stronger warnings about kidney damage risks with Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors.
At present, more than 1,100 Invokana lawsuits have been brought against Johnson & Johnson seeking reparations for their injuries, pain, suffering and financial losses. Invokana claims have been transferred to MDL 2750 in New Jersey federal court, under Judge Brian Martinotti. Most of the plaintiffs are suing for damages related to diabetic ketoacidosis, renal failure, kidney injuries and lower limb amputations.
There are deadlines, known as statutes of limitation, for filing a lawsuit based on Invokana injuries, making it crucial to retain legal representation as soon as possible.
Diabetes drugs attorneys fight for your rights
Showard Law Firm has successfully advocated for plaintiffs injured by dangerous pharmaceuticals. If you took Invokana, Januvia, Byetta or any diabetes drug and were hospitalized or suffered health complications, we invite you to reach out for a free, private case evaluation.
Additional resources on diabetes medications lawsuits:
- CDC, New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html
- FDA, FDA investigating reports of possible increased risk of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous findings of the pancreas from Incretin Mimetic drugs for type 2 diabetes https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm343187.htm
- US District Court for the Southern District of California, Incretin Mimetics Products Liability Litigation MDL https://www.casd.uscourts.gov/SitePages/13md2452.aspx
- Medscape, EU Will Study Risks of Incretin Mimetics for Diabetes https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/78153
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