Type 2 Diabetes Medications Could Lead to Pancreatic Cancer

The latest multidistrict litigation (MDL) over products liability lawsuits alleging pancreatic cancer from taking incretin mimetics makes it clear that these medications – namely Januvia, Janumet, Byetta, and VIctoza – were marketed to patients suffering from type 2 diabetes too soon. Januvia, Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved in 2006, is one of the more popular, top-selling Type 2 diabetes drugs.

What are Incretin Mimetics?

Incretin mimetics work by prompting your pancreas to release insulin when blood sugar levels are rising, and prevents it from giving out too much glucagon. This problem is… not only can they cause pancreatitis, but evidence is emerging that they could cause pancreatic cancer (as pancreatitis can be a precursor to pancreatic cancer). Some medical journals are publishing articles stating that, while these incretin mimetics are fine for the short-term use of lowering or stabilizing glucose levels, their chemical properties prohibit long-term use for the treatment of a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes.

Reports are that pancreatitis comes on quickly and can be fatal. Some of the reported side effects include elevated blood pressure, heart or respiratory rates, severe abdominal and back pain and inflammation of the pancreas, and nausea or vomiting. Some patients have reported that these symptoms continue even after they have discontinued using the drugs.


Many people who have suffered from the side effects of these medications have filed lawsuits against the makers of these drugs: Amylin, Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb (Byetta), Merck (Januvia and Janumet) and Novo Nordisk A/S (Victoza). Most of the Januvia and Byetta lawsuits filed allege that, not only did these drug companies fail to include proper warnings about the risks associated with these medications, but also potentially concealed information once that the risks were well known. In these suits, plaintiffs allege that the drug companies failed to exercise reasonable care and created unreasonable risks of personal injury to others.

Recently, one of the claims filed against Amylin, Eli Lilly, Merck and Novo Nordisk was on behalf of Lorraine Golden, who passed away from pancreatic cancer allegedly due to taking Januvia 2007-2008 and Janumet in 2008. Golden’s estate is suing the companies for failure to warn, design defect, negligence, breach of implied and express warranties, punitive damages, and loss of consortium. Similarly, the widow of Steven A. Jacobs has also alleged that her husband got pancreatic cancer and passed away due to the use of another incretin mimetic, Byetta.

Get Legal Help

If you or a loved one believe that you have been injured by Januvia, Janumet, Byetta, Bydureon, or Victoza, and you would like to explore your legal rights, please call us for a no-cost, no-obligation lawsuit review. You may be able to receive compensation for your physical and/or mental injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one that included negligence and deceit by concealment and misrepresentation.

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