Product News and Recalls

New diabetes drug faces competition

GlaxoSmithKline announced that its once-weekly diabetes drug called albiglutide was effective in late-stage clinical trials.

A story in Reuters about the announcement speculates that despite those results, the drug may face challenges in an increasingly competitive market for diabetes drugs. But some of the newer types of diabetes drugs such as Januvia and Byetta have generated health concerns recently.

The medical journal BMJ has published an investigation about the diabetes drugs called “incretin therapies,” which include Byetta and Januvia. BMJ points out that a number of studies have indicated a link between the drugs and a potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis, as well as pancreatic cancer. Byetta has also been linked to thyroid cancer.

The BMJ investigation uncovered evidence that the drugs’ manufacturers were aware of these potential health risks for years, and took steps to repress them.

According to the Reuters article, albiglutide has been submitted for U.S. and European regulatory approval. While the drug met its main goal in five studies, it did not demonstrate that it was equally as good as another diabetes drug called pioglitazone in one group of patients.

The most commonly reported adverse effects in the studies were gastrointestinal, mainly nausea and diarrhea, and injection site reactions, Reuters reports.

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.