Lawsuits Link Januvia to Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer

Studies have shown an increase of pancreatic cancer in patients taking DDP-4 inhibitors like Januvia, compared to those who used other diabetic medications.

Florida resident David Vega is suing Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. for the injuries he sustained from ingesting the diabetic medication Januvia, alleging that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer as a direct result of taking Januvia.

Vega began taking Januvia in January 2006 to manage his type 2 diabetes. He stayed on the prescription until May 8, 2009 and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on April 12, 2009. According to the Januvia lawsuit, Vega was taken off the medication because he was showing symptoms, which tests later confirmed.

The lawsuit contends that there were no warnings or indications on Januvia’s label regarding the possibility of contracting pancreatic cancer, which is known to be a difficult cancer to beat.

Vega states that Merck should have warned him, as well as other patients, about Januvia’s association with pancreatic cancer. He relied on the information given to him at the time Januvia was prescribed and would never have taken the drug if he had prior knowledge of the link to pancreatic cancer.

Vega is suing Merck for negligence, false advertising, concealing information and misrepresenting a product.

On February 18, 2014, Richard and Claire Russo of Pennsylvania filed a Januvia pancreatitis lawsuit against Amylin Pharmaceuticals, alleging that the defendants’ drug directly resulted in the development of acute pancreatitis.

The plaintiffs requested that the lawsuit be included in the coordinated proceeding, JCCP 4574, which is pending in Superior Court of Los Angeles with regard to problems with both Byetta and Januvia.

These drugs are used to treat diabetes in addition to an exercise and proper diet regimen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Januvia for use in patients with type 2 diabetes in October 2006. Januvia was aggressively marketed after its approval.

Januvia is one of the best selling medications in the U.S. In the first quarter of 2012, sales were $919 million. In 2011, the drug netted more than $1.3 billion in sales.

The Big Pharma’s put profits ahead of the safety and well being of the consumer.

Do the drugs’ risks outweigh their benefits? Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer that once diagnosis is made, it is usually too late. These drug manufacturers need to be held accountable for their negligence and greed.

Feel free to comment on this blog post. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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