The FDA is investigating studies linking certain diabetes medications and pancreatic cancer. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by people who developed pancreatic side effects and accuse drug-makers of downplaying the risk.
Need a Texas Pancreatic Cancer Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Incretin Mimetic Diabetes Drugs
Diabetes drugs in the “incretin mimetic” class mimic digestive hormones called incretins that tell the pancreas to make more insulin. They help control blood-sugar levels by forcing the pancreas to make more insulin. Unfortunately, some experts are concerned that they could over-stimulate the pancreas and cause inflammation (pancreatitis). Over time, chronic pancreatitis is a risk-factor for pancreatic cancer.
Diabetes drugs in the incretin mimetic class include:
- Exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon)
- Liraglutide (Victoza)
- Sitagliptin (Januvia, Janumet, Janumet XR, Juvisync)
- Saxagliptin (Onglyza, Kombiglyze XR)
- Alogliptin (Nesina, Kazano, Oseni)
- Linagliptin (Tradjenta, Jentadueto)
Incretin Mimetic MDL
The Clark Firm, LLP is nationally recognized as a class action law firm. However, our attorneys are not filing a pancreatic cancer class action. We are filing individual lawsuits for people who were injured by diabetes medications in the incretin therapy class.
Hundreds of lawsuits involving involving pancreatic side effects of diabetes drugs have been centralized in federal court. In January 2016, drug-makers were facing over 750 lawsuits in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2452) in the Southern District of California, In Re: Incretin Mimetics Products Liability Litigation MDL.
FDA Investigates Pancreatic Cancer Risk
In March 2013, the FDA published a Safety Warning to announce that they would investigate data from a study linking diabetes medications in the incretin mimetic class with pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Concern about the link between diabetes medications and pancreatic cancer has been growing for several years. The incretin mimetics are a new class of drugs; the first one, Byetta (exenatide), was approved in 2005. By 2009, the FDA had received a number of reports of patients who developed cancer. They asked the manufacturer of Byetta, to “explore a potential signal of a serious risk of thyroid cancer and pancreatic cancer.”
Soon afterward, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) asked drug-makers to provide patient-level data on the risk of pancreatic cancer. The British Medical Journal also raised concerns about a lack of warnings about studies linking incretin mimetic medications to a potential risk of pancreatic cancer.
Study of Diabetes Drugs and Pancreatic Cancer
In March 2013, Diabetes published a study by researchers who autopsied pancreases from deceased patients who took Januvia or Byeta for at least one year. The pancreases were 40% larger than normal, contained six times more insulin-producing beta-cells, and showed evidence of “eccentric” cell growth and pre-cancerous cellular changes called adenomas.
Although adenomas are benign tumors, they can become malignant, which is why they are normally removed surgically when they are discovered. The researchers warned:
“Since the standard of care of a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, because of the risk of conversion to malignancy, even if benign, is surgical resection [i.e. removal], patients exposed to incretin therapy would seem to be at increased risk of requiring pancreatic surgery.”
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is a disease that occurs when cells begin dividing out of control inside the pancreas. The pancreas is an important digestive organ that produces digestive juices and insulin and glucagon, two hormones that regulate blood-sugar levels.
What is the Problem?
Pancreatic cancer is an extremely dangerous, life-threatening disease. Fewer than 20% of people are diagnosed before the cancer has spread outside the pancreas, which means it is usually impossible to cure with surgery. Most people undergo aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy to improve their survival time.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer rarely produces symptoms in its early stages. Furthermore, the pancreas is located deep inside the abdomen, which makes it unlikely that doctors will find the cancer unless they are specifically looking for it.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include:
- Weight loss
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes)
- Worsening of diabetes (pancreas stops producing insulin)
- Nausea, vomiting
- Abdominal pain, discomfort, swelling, or tenderness
- Diarrhea and indigestion
- Dark urine or light-colored stools
- And more
Do I have a Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Texas pancreatic cancer lawsuit review.