Is Diabetes Drug, Byetta’s Use Linked to Thyroid Cancer?

Many patients live with type-2 diabetes and are prescribed a variety of drugs such as Byetta, Januvia and others, to help lower blood sugar levels.

Sharon Beverly of California realized the drug regimen did not provide a cure but needed help to stabilize her disease. Beverly was prescribed Byetta in June 2011 and continued taking it for one year, as directed, according to her lawsuit. A year later, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. As a result of her diagnosis, she suffered physical, economic and emotional injuries. When Beverly realized that her cancer could be attributed to the use of Byetta, she filed her Byetta lawsuit against Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly.

Beverly says research shows there is a defect present in the formulation of Byetta, which increases the risk of thyroid cancer in diabetic patients who have been prescribed this drug. Beverly alleges that the manufacturers knew about the risks but concealed their knowledge from her, other consumers and from the medical community. She claims that had she knew or had been warned, according to her Byetta complications lawsuit, she would never have taken Byetta. She had several other drugs she could have used instead of Byetta, but didn’t have all the information prior to starting this drug.

Beverly is suing the drug manufacturers with claims of failure to warn, design defects, negligence, breach of implied and express warranty, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment and punitive damages.

Although there are serious complications associated with diabetes such as blindness, possible amputations and/or the need for dialysis, none of these are as serious or live threatening as thyroid cancer. Byetta is supposed to help prevent these diabetic complications. Instead, the trade-off could be cancer.

Byetta is a member of a new class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1-based therapies. These drugs impact the body through “potentiation of incretin receptor signaling.” Incretins are gut-derived hormones that live in the thyroid tissue and are secreted in the fasting state to control ones’ blood sugar.

It is estimated that more than 350 million people are diagnosed with diabetes worldwide, making it one of the major health challenges today.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer after taking Byetta, you should consult with an experienced attorney immediately. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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