AstraZeneca Settles 84 Byetta Lawsuits in CaliforniaAugust 20, 2014 — Settlements have been reached in at least 84 lawsuits involving Byetta and Bydureon by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca.

The settlements were reported in a financial report for the second quarter of 2014.

AstraZeneca is facing approximately 409 claims of injury from Byetta and Bydureon. The lawsuits allege multiple injuries, including pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation), pancreatic cancer, and thyroid cancer.

Most lawsuits involving pancreatic cancer have been centralized at the federal level, in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. At the state court level, a coordinated proceeding has also been established in Los Angeles, California.

Settlements were reached in 84 lawsuits pending in state court, including one case that was scheduled for trial in February 2014.

What is the problem?

Byetta contains exenatide, a medication that helps people with type-2 diabetes control their blood-sugar levels. Bydureon is an extended-release version of Byetta. In 2011, a study published in Gastroenterology linked exenatide to an increased risk of pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and thyroid cancer. In March 2013, the FDA issued a Safety Alert after studies found pre-cancerous cellular chances in pancreases taken from people on Byetta and other diabetes drugs in its class.

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