Rebecca Richard has filed a Byetta lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on behalf of her deceased husband’s estate. The lawsuit, filed on June 28, 2013, alleges that David Richard developed terminal pancreatic cancer as a direct and proximate use of the diabetes medication, Byetta. Listed as defendants in the complaint are Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, the drug’s manufacturers. Court documents state that the deceased was prescribed Byetta on July 27, 2005. He continued taking the medication through May 2010, and sought emergency medical attention in April 2011, after experiencing intense abdominal pain. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, which led to his untimely death on July 27, 2011.

His widow alleges that the defendants failed to adequately warn patients and health care providers of the risks of pancreatic cancer associated with Byetta, and neglected to caution physicians to monitor for the first signs of changes in the pancreas. Byetta, a member of a new class of drugs called incretin mimetics (GPL-1), was approved by the FDA in 2005 to help stabilize blood glucose levels and prevent complications in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

By 2010, however, concerns were published regarding a potential link with pancreatic cancer and Byetta and DDP-4 inhibitors, including Januvia. Researchers in the medical journal Diabetes Care, wrote, “We feel that enough preliminary evidence has accumulated to suggest that there is a plausible risk that long-term recipients of GLP-1-based therapy may develop asymptomatic chronic pancreatitis (Fig. 1), and worse, subsequently a minority of individuals treated by this class of drug may develop pancreatic cancer.”

In 2011, additional research on Byetta side effects was published in the online journal Gastroenterology, showing that patients treated with Byetta had a 2.9 time greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer as patients treated with other drugs.

The FDA announced on March 14, that it discovered evidence of pre-cancerous cell changes in pancreatic tissue samples of patients who had taken Byetta, Januvia or other incretin mimetics. The agency is to investigate further.

Prior clinical studies indicate an increased risk of pancreatitis; a condition associated with higher instances of pancreatic cancer, with GLP-1 based therapies such as Byetta.

The plaintiff is seeking damages alleging failure to warn, design defect, negligence, breach of implied and expressed warranty, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, and loss of consortium.

Patients who have been injured after using the diabetic Byetta may be able to file a lawsuit. To learn more about your rights and legal options, call the Phillips Law Firm today. Our experienced Byetta 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.