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Amylin, Eli Lilly Support Proposed MDL for Diabetes Drug Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuits

May 6, 2013 – Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly have stated that they agree that pancreatic cancer lawsuits involving the diabetes drugs Byetta, Januvia, Janumet and Victoza should be centralized before a single judge for pretrial handling. The proposed multidistrict litigation (MDL) was filed last month by a group of plaintiffs who claim to have developed pancreatic cancer after taking the type 2 diabetes medications. MDLs are commonly implemented in complex pharmaceutical litigation where a large number of lawsuits are filed involving similar allegations.

Free Diabetes Drug Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Byetta, Januvia, Janumet or Victoza, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the diabetes drug and we can help.

What’s the Problem?

The motion to establish the diabetes drug pancreatic cancer MDL was filed on April 5, requesting that all such claims filed on the federal level be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where most of the lawsuits are already pending. Merck (the manufacturer of Januvia and Janumet) and Novo Nordisk (the manufacturer of Victoza) have reportedly consented to the proposed consolidation.

“The requested transfer is warranted because the actions involve common questions of fact, and centralization into a single MDL for pancreatic cancer injuries would promote efficiency and justice,” said Amylin and Eli Lilly in the response.

Amylin and Eli Lilly are listed as co-defendants in at least 42 of the 53 complaints included in the original motion, with 40 of those claims currently pending in the Southern District of California. Many of the lawsuits involve allegations that plaintiffs were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after using more than one of the diabetes medications listed in the complaints.

The drugs, which are classified as incretin mimetics, work by mimicking the hormones that the body produces to stimulate the release of insulin in response to a meal. Byetta (exenatide) was the first incretin mimetic to hit the market in 2005, followed by Januvia (sitagliptin) in 2006 and Janumet (metformin and sitagliptin) in 2007.

Incretin mimetics are widely prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes, and generate billions in sales each year. Januvia and Janumet are among Merck’s best selling medications, with Janumet sales topping $1.3 billion in 2011 and Januvia sales hitting close to $920 million in the first quarter of 2012 alone. In 2010, sales of Byetta were $710 million, and have been expected to surpass $1 billion by 2015. Likewise, Victoza sales were approximately $1 billion in 2011, and reached nearly $750 million during the first half of 2012.

In addition to pancreatic cancer, incretin mimetic diabetes drugs have been linked to the following serious side effects:

  • thyroid cancer
  • kidney failure
  • pancreatitis
  • acute pancreatitis
  • hemorrhagic pancreatitis
  • necrotizing pancreatitis
  • life-threatening allergic reactions
  • death

In March 2013, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was investigating the link between incretin mimetics and pancreatic cancer. The announcement came following research which determined that pancreas tissue of users of the drugs contained pre-cancerous cellular changes. Health officials in Europe have reportedly launched a similar investigation.

Do I Have a Diabetes Drug Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in diabetes drug pancreatic cancer lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new diabetes drug pancreatic cancer cases in all 50 states.

Free Diabetes Drug Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Byetta, Januvia, Janumet or Victoza, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a diabetes drug pancreatic cancer suit and we can help.

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