Global drug manufacturers have agreed to cooperate with an independent review of diabetes drugs classified as “incretin mimetics,” which include Byetta and Januvia, in light of a growing body of research suggesting that the drugs may be linked to pancreatic cancer and a potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis.
The American Diabetes Association has called for such a review.
A Reuters report on the issue quotes the ADA’s chief scientific and medical officer as saying: “People who are taking these medications, or who may consider taking them, should have the benefit of all that is currently known about their risks and advantages in order to make the best possible decisions about their treatment.”
Despite the major pharmaceutical manufacturers’ stated commitment to cooperate, an investigation by the prestigious medical journal BMJ uncovered evidence that the drug makers were aware of the potential risks years ago. And in response, according to BMJ, the companies tried to suppress that news.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is studying unconfirmed reports that the drugs cause inflammation of the pancreas and pre-cancerous changes to cells in the pancreas. European health regulators are conducting a similar study.
You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a Lopez McHugh attorney if you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Januvia or Byetta.