Adults suffering from Type II diabetes may have been prescribed one of several medications, including Byetta and Januvia. Byetta, patented by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use with insulin in 2005, and Januvia, using a patent of Merck and Co., was approved shortly after in 2006. These treatments, each bringing in several billion dollars annually, are intended to lower blood sugar (glucose) levels in patients, and are recommended to be taken with regular exercise, diet, and insulin, as prescribed by a doctor. Commonly reported side effects include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), serious allergic reaction, nausea, and dizziness.
In 2007, after complaints from patients and doctors, the FDA issued a black box warning for Byetta, declaring that it may be linked to pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. The FDA released a similar warning for Januvia in 2009. Additionally, the FDA has issued black box warnings for Byetta, Januvia, and other similar diabetes treatments, such as Victoza, stating that the drugs can not only be linked to pancreatic cancer, but to thyroid cancer as well. Lawsuits have been filed against both Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Merck and Co., and, as recently as October 2015, 749 cases are still pending.
One of these cases involves a Maryland man whose wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after using Januvia and Byetta for four years, between 2005 and 2009. This individual claimed the drug manufacturers “failed to properly test the side effects”, “inadequately labeled the drugs”, and “concealed risks from the public.” This case, along with many similar cases, is pending in California courts.
It is important to understand that in pharmaceutical cases the plaintiff’s personal doctor is not held responsible for damages. At Jones Brown Attorneys, we are dedicated to helping those harmed by prescription medication reach settlements. Common reparations being pursued in these cases involve payment of medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, and home health care costs. To find out if you or your loved one is eligible for compensation, take our quick evaluation for Byetta and Januvia or Victoza.