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New Safety Review of Diabetes Drugs


Possible link to cancer

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has called for an independent safety review of drugs used to control blood sugar for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.  The ADA issued a statement this week asking pharmaceutical companies to “make patient-level data on their products available for an independent review that could help settle the question of whether such therapies contribute to the development of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European health regulators have been studying unconfirmed reports that these drugs may cause harm to the pancreas, including inflammation and pre-cancerous changes to pancreatic cells.

Pharmaceutical companies agree to cooperate

Drug makers Bristol-Myers, AstraZeneca and Merck all issued statements expressing support for the study. Novo Nordisk representative Alan Moses told Reuters, “In principle, Novo Nordisk absolutely supports working with the other companies, but the final details depend on what specifically is being proposed,” Moses said, adding “it all depends on the credibility of the data that’s being evaluated.”

Pharmaceutical companies have struggled to find medications that treat diabetes without causing serious side effects. 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes. And according to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide.

The safety review will study patients taking several drugs, including:

Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 (DPP-4) Inhibitors

    • Januvia® (sitagliptin)
    • Onglyza® (saxagliptin)
    • Tradjenta® (linagliptin )
    • Galvus® (vildagliptin) – available in Europe

Glucagon-like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Agonists

If you or a loved one have experienced any harmful side effects after taking a diabetes treatment, contact a drug injury lawyer at Elk & Elk. Our Ohio product liability attorneys, paralegals, doctor, nurses, investigators and economist will work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or fill out our online case evaluation form for a free consultation. When you choose Elk & Elk for your drug injury claim, there’s never a fee unless we win. Put our experience and resources to work for you.



Drugmakers to cooperate in safety review of diabetes drugs,” by Bill Berkrot, Reuters, June 12, 2013.

“American Diabetes Association Calls for Independent Review of Incretin Therapy,” American Diabetes Association, June 10, 2013.