Product News and Recalls

Diabetes drug could be a ‘blockbuster’

A blog post on Forbes deals with Johnson & Johnson’s type 2 diabetes drug Canagliflozin, which is expected to receive FDA approval soon and which the report describes as having “blockbuster potential.”

According to the report, Canagliflozin proved effective at lowering blood glucose levels and causing weight loss in diabetics during clinical trials. But it also showed potentially troubling side effects, in the form of elevated risk for heart problems.

The item says that diabetes is on the rise, corresponding with a global rise in obesity, and that an estimated 26 million people suffer from the condition in the United States alone. And the type 2 diabetes drug market is expected to grow from $26 billion in 2011 to $50 billion in 2021 in developed markets including the U.S., Japan and Europe.

Other drugs introduced to capitalize on that market have recently exhibited potentially dangerous side effects. A recent study found two other diabetes drugs, Merck’s Januvia and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Byetta, may double the risk of a pancreas inflammation called pancreatitis. Previous studies have linked Januvia and Byetta to pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, and Byetta to thyroid cancer.

The post says that Johnson & Johnson could use a blockbuster. In the past two years, the company has lost patent protection on the drugs Concerta, Levaquin and Invega, putting nearly $1.5 billion of revenues at risk.

And juries have recently given multi-million-dollar awards to plaintiffs in two trials centering on injuries caused by Johnson & Johnson medical devices – the ASR hip implant and the Prolift vaginal mesh. Thousands more lawsuits are pending for both devices, which analysts predict could cost the company billions of dollars.

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: