Doctor Discovers Dangers of Januvia


In early 2008, Dr. Peter C. Butler, chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of California, Los Angeles, made a discovery that could drastically alter the way the medical community views one of its top-selling diabetes medications. After repeated requests from Merck, the manufacturer of Januvia, a Type 2 diabetes medication with annual sales in excess of $9 billion, Dr. Butler conceded to study the drug and came up with some alarming results. Dr. Butler studied the pancreases of thirty-four human organ donors who had died from reasons unrelated to pancreatic cancer. Of the donors, 7 had taken Januvia and one had taken Byetta. The pancreases of the eight incretin drug users had more precancerous lesions, were heavier and had a faster growth of certain cells than the organs of those who had not taken the drugs. One even had a neuroendocrine tumor, a type of pancreatic cancer. Results of Dr. Butler’s most recent study have prompted the FDA and the European Medicines Agency to begin investigations that could result in new label warnings on the drugs, their removal from the market, or other serious consequences. The makers of the drug and many diabetes specialists say the results of Dr. Butler’s tests are inconclusive and that if there is any increased risk it would be minimal. Concerns about whether the drugs increase the risk of pancreatitis, a painful and possibly lethal swelling of the pancreas, surfaced shortly after the first one, Byetta, now sold by Bristol-Meyers Squibb and AstraZeneca, was approved in 2005. The drugs’ labels already contain warnings about pancreatitis, but what is new, is a possible risk of pancreatic cancer which is virtually untreatable and kills most patients within a year. Still, there are some experts who agree that while Dr. Butler’s findings raise some red flags, safety concerns have not yet had a noticeable impact on the sale of the drugs. Additional information may come out this month at a two-day meeting of the National Institutes of Health where Dr. Butler will be a speaker.

National Januvia Lawsuit Lawyers

Patients who have been diagnosed with pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, or thyroid cancer after using the diabetic drugs Byetta and Januvia may be able to file a lawsuit. To learn more about your rights and legal options, call the Phillips Law Firm today. Our experienced national dangerous drug lawsuit lawyers have represented families across the country in their quest for justice. For a free consultation visit the Phillips Law Firm website or call 1-800-708-6000.