Posted In: Drug Litigation

Slater Slater Schulman LLP is investigating complaints that Byetta, Amylin and Eli Lilly’s injectable Type 2 Diabetes treatment, may be associated with thyroid and pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. Call us at (800) 251-6990 today to learn if you have a Byetta Cancer Lawsuit.

A recent study published in the medical journal Gastroenterology and carried out by a team from the Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles has provided preliminary findings suggesting that drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes may increase the risks of several types of cancer and pancreatitis.

Researchers investigated data from 2004 until 2009 that was provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Byetta was approved in 2005 to help Type 2 Diabetics on other medications better control blood sugar when other drugs were not adequate. Meant to be injected two times a day, Byetta is a synthetic form of a lizard hormone that boosts the production of insulin. Insulin is vital to controlling blood sugar levels. Byetta was later approved as a stand-alone therapy for type 2 diabetes.

Byetta and Pancreatic Cancer

Byetta has been linked to a number of serious side effects, including pancreatitis (which when chronic, can lead to pancreatic cancer). In August 2008, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the drug’s makers announced six patients taking Byetta had died from pancreatitis. When the FDA approved the expanded use of Byetta, it also announced that its prescribing information would warn about the risk of pancreatitis in patients with severe kidney disease.

In November 2009, the agency approved a new label for Byetta amid reports the medicine may cause kidney problems. The drug’s makers were specifically directed by the FDA to conduct a number of Byetta post-marketing studies, including one that would explore a possible association with pancreatic cancer and thyroid neoplasm (this often refers to thyroid cancer).

On March 14, 2013, the FDA released a Drug Safety Communication concerning Byetta, Januvia and others in the same class of drugs, stating:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is evaluating unpublished new findings by a group of academic researchers that suggest an increased risk of pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, and precancerous cellular changes called pancreatic duct metaplasia in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with a class of drugs called incretin mimetics.

Drugs in this class work by mimicking the incretin hormones produced by the body to stimulate the release of insulin after ingesting food. Together with exercising and eating better, these drugs can help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

While there were previous studies suggesting these drugs may be linked to pancreatitis, this recent FDA statement raises the possibility that Byetta and Januvia may also be associated with pancreatic cancer.

In current litigation, one Byetta user claims that he succumbed to liver and pancreatic cancer just five months after beginning Byetta treatment. The man’s widow sued Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly for negligence, failure to warn, and loss of consortium.

Slater Slater Schulman LLP is actively investigating allegations that Byetta’s manufacturers negligently marketed and promoted the drug, and they failed to adequately test it or warn consumers of its risks. Chronic pancreatitis is often a precursor to pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest types of cancer. For that reason Byetta patients need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis. They must seek medical attention immediately should they experience any symptoms. Symptoms of pancreatitis may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Swollen, tender abdomen
  • Changes in bowel movements

Byetta and Thyroid Cancer

In addition to Byetta Pancreatic Cancer, Slater Slater Schulman LLP is also investigating allegations of a causal link between Byetta pancreatitis and Byetta thyroid cancer. The FDA first raised suspicions in a 2010 report evaluating Victoza, another drug in the same class. The FDA said that strict label warnings may be necessary to alert users of drugs in Victoza’s class about this potential side effect.

Do I have a Byetta Cancer Lawsuit?

Slater Slater Schulman LLP is dedicated to assisting potential plaintiffs in Byetta cancer lawsuits. If you or someone you love have taken Byetta and developed pancreatic and/or thyroid cancer, you should contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP for a free consultation by filling out the form on this page or by calling us at (800) 251-6990.

Medical disclaimer: Please note that any change in medications should be made only after consulting with your doctor about the risks and benefits of doing so, and should not be based on any information contained in this web site or seen on a commercial.

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