Product News and Recalls

Group calls for banning diabetes drug

Nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has submitted a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, calling for a diabetes drug to be banned in light of studies linking the it to pancreatic and thyroid cancer.

According to a story about the issue in the journal Nature, a patient stands just a 1.8% chance of surviving for longer than five years once pancreatic cancer spreads.

The FDA approved Victoza, made by Novo Nordisk of Denmark, in 2010. The drug mimics the activity of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas and ultimately lowers concentrations of glucose in the blood.

According to the Nature story, drugs that mimic GLP-1 may inflame the pancreas in some people. That causes pancreatitis, which is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

Previous studies have linked the diabetes drugs Byetta and Januvia to similar risks of pancreatitis and resultant pancreatic cancer. A study also linked Byetta to an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

The story quotes Sidney Wolfe, director of the health and research group at Public Citizen, as saying: “We don’t just go after drugs casually. We only go after drugs when there is clear evidence of unique dangers or risks, and when there is no evidence of a unique clinical advantage.”

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.

See the story here: