Courts are gearing up to hear the first lawsuits in cases that allege that the diabetes drug Byetta causes patients to develop pancreatic cancer.
Byetta works by mimicking the hormones that stimulate insulin production in the patient’s body. The drug is intended to help patients’ bodies produce their own insulin. This is supposed to enable the patient’s body to regulate blood sugar. Byetta is an injectable drug used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Byetta Has Been Linked to Pancreatic Cancer
However, scientific studies, dating as far back as 2007, have shown that Byetta comes with its share of dangers. Specifically, the drug has been shown to cause both pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
The first troubles were reported in 2007 when numerous adverse event reports tied pancreatic inflammation to the use of Byetta. Two patients were reported to have died, and the FDA an alert to warn the public. However, the drugmaker continued to sell the product without their own warning to the public.
By 2011, research had found that Byetta increased the risk of pancreatic cancer. This is one of the deadliest forms of the disease, with a five-year survival rate of less than ten percent. For more advanced stages, the survival rate is one percent. There is no cure for the disease. Numerous research studies over the past decade have confirmed the same finding as the original study.
In 2013, the FDA issued a Safety Communication, alerting patients to the risks of Byetta. This came two years after initial research first showed the dangers. Now, recent research has shown that Byetta doubles the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Despite these serious safety concerns, Byetta is still on the market today. The drug is profitable enough that AstraZeneca bought the rights to the drug from Bristol Myers Squibb. In 2018, Byetta and its longer-lasting version Bydureon were responsible for nearly $700 million in sales. The manufacturer continues to sell the drug in spite of the risks.
Byetta Is Part of Multidistrict Litigation
Currently, Byetta lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation with the following other types of diabetes drugs:
All of these drugs are alleged to cause pancreatic cancer. The case is currently in federal court in California. The litigation was originally dismissed because a lower court had found that the statute of limitations had expired, but an appeals court reinstated the lawsuits. As of this writing, there are a total of 1,012 active cases in the litigation. The cases were originally expected to head to trial in 2020 but have seen delays pushing the first trials back. The first bellwether cases could force the maker’s hands when it comes to settlement discussions.
Contact a Florida Byetta Lawsuit Attorney
If you or a loved one have taken Byetta and have developed pancreatic cancer, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Contact the Florida product liability attorneys at Ged Lawyers LLP by phone at (561) 995-1966 or online to schedule your free initial consultation.