Our attorneys are currently assisting individuals who developed pancreatic cancer after using Januvia. The prescription drug Januvia, also known as sitagliptin phosphate, is used by diabetics. Januvia is ingested via tablet, and is used to treat Type 2 diabetes. Januvia was approved by the FDA in March 2006. Januvia is manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. and is one of the most widely used drugs for treating Type 2 diabetes. Januvia, also known as sitagliptin, has over $2 billion in annual sales.
Since its 2006 release, Januvia has an extensive history of severe complications. In 2009, the FDA required changes to Januvia’s warning label after Januvia was found to cause pancreatitis. Most troubling are recent studies linking Januvia to dramatically increased pancreatic cancer risk. Patients also are alleging Januvia may result in increased thyroid cancer risk.
Januvia and Pancreatic Cancer
In September 2011, USA Today reported a University of California Los Angeles study had concluded patients who take Januvia to control Type 2 Diabetes may be at increased risk for pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer. The UCLA study (pdf) links “sitagliptin,” used to lower blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes, with increased cancer risk. The research concluded using Januvia increased pancreatic cancer risk by 2.7 times.
The study found the entire class of incretin mimetic drugs have increased pancreatic cancer risk. In addition to Januvia, other increased risk diabetes drugs include Byetta, Victoza, Janumet, Janumet XR, Juvisync, Ongloza, Nesina, Kazano, Oseni, Tradjenta and Jentadueto.
The link between Januvia and pancreatic cancer was discussed in the February 2013 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers raised concerns Januvia use could lead to pancreatic cancer as a study found Januvia users were twice as likely to develop severe pancreatitis which can lead to pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is an extremely deadly type of cancer and is the fourth leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States with almost 40,000 deaths annually. Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to diagnose and is usually not discovered until its later stages, at which point it is often impossible to treat. Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include:
- weight loss
- dark urine
- clay-colored stools
- back pain
Detecting pancreatic cancer early is critical. Early detection greatly improves a patient’s survival chances. Januvia users experiencing any of the signs and symptoms listed above should immediately contact their doctor to determine whether they have pancreatic cancer, and to inquire about treatment.
Currently, hundreds of lawsuits are pending against Merck. Patients allege Merck failed to warn consumers about Januvia’s increased pancreatic cancer risk. Patients also allege Merck failed to adequately test Januvia’s safety before market release.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all current and future Januvia cases which are filed in federal court. “Consolidation” means all current and future Januvia cancer lawsuits were transferred to a single federal judge. In August 2013, the court transferred all current and future filed Januvia cases to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
In mass tort and class action litigation, it is common for individual cases to be consolidated before a single court, with a single judge. In addition to the petition to consolidate the federal court cases, there is a coordinated proceeding in Los Angeles Superior Court where a large number of Januvia cases currently are pending.
Contact a Januvia Lawyer
The experienced and compassionate mass tort attorneys at Doyle APC are currently reviewing and pursuing Januvia pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer claims in all fifty states. If you or a family member were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer after taking Januvia, or after taking sitagliptin phosphate, you may be eligible to file a claim. Please fill out the confidential form below or call us toll-free at 1-800-736-9085.