Saxenda, Victoza, and Januvia Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

In 2014, the FDA approved Saxenda (liraglutide) for the treatment of obesity. Novo Nordisk is the responsible pharmaceutical company. Liraglutide, the active ingredient for Saxenda, is a glucagonlike peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. More generally, Saxenda is in the incretin mimetic class of drugs. In recent years more and more cases of pancreatic cancer have arisen in connection this and other medications targeted for Type II Diabetes. Prescription drugs including Januvia, Saxenda, and Victoza, which are all popular Type 2 diabetes treatments, have been widely recommended by doctors and health care providers for a number of years now. However, reports of dangerous side effects including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer have once again raised questions about whether the drugs’ risks outweigh their benefits. Some of the people who suffered from these side effects  are now in the midst of filling lawsuits for the injuries they have sustained.


The History of Liraglutide Medications

Earlier in 2010, the FDA approved another liraglutide-containing medicine, Victoza, which is a popular Type-2 diabetes drug. Like Victoza, Saxenda has been associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, or pancreas cancer, in patients using this still relatively new obesity, or weight-loss, drug. However, the alarming difference between Saxenda and Victoza is that the standard dose of Saxenda for obesity contains 3.0 mg of liraglutide, while the standard doses of Victoza for diabetes are 1.2 mg or 1.8 mg of liraglutide. So the patient using Saxenda is getting about two-times more liraglutide than the patient using Victoza.

This was a terrifying revelation for many, especially those who had taken Saxenda and similar medications that had high levels of liraglutide. They were rightfully worried about what such a high does would do in the short and long term, especially when the smaller doze found in Victoza was already reported to be causing health problems. This concern gave rise to more in depth studies into these issues and how other medications such as Januvia were affecting user’s health.

It did not take long for word of the possible dangers associated with these medications to spread and the public alarm and concern was so great that the FDA had to start taking steps to curb fear and address the problem. “In May 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued safety communications linking the drugs, collectively called incretin mimetics, to serious complications such as pancreatic diseases. The agency also advised the public it was investigating the drugs’ link to pancreatic cancer”.


Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuits

The reason for the lawsuits in almost all cases is that even after the FDA stated their fining and issued their findings that there did indeed seem to be a strong link between these drugs and pancreatic cancer, nothing was done about it.  The first lawsuits to be filed all were alleging the drug makers and manufacturers failed to warn the general public about the very real health risk associated with these mediations and the lawsuits began to land in courts across the country.

“A federal appeals court recently signed an order resurrecting around 750 lawsuits filed against the makers of drugs like Januvia, Victoza, Janumet, Byetta/Bydureon, Trulicity and Tradjenta over links to pancreatic cancer. This both revives a class action-type lawsuit that’s been ongoing since 2013, and also paves the way for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in recent years to file new claims… Based on the latest report by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, nearly 980 lawsuits have now been filed…for pancreatic cancer. However, the FDA has received around 5,000 reports of pancreatic cancer from patients taking these drugs, so experts estimate thousands more could join the litigation” (DrugNews)

These manufactures and distributors are facing lawsuits now for a number of reasons. These cases occur when a known risk or danger associated with a particular medication is ignored by the doctor and medical team and is still given to patients and is still used and circulated.. At times the medical field is so desperate for a solution they will downplay the severity of side effect or try to make it seem like the side effects are not as bad or as of big a concern as they should be. In some medical litigation cases it is found that someone involved with the making and distribution or a particular medicine turned a blind eye and deliberately ignored waning and dangers.


Your right for damages with Pancreatic Cancer

If you or a loved one has suffered from pancreatic cancer due to not being properly informed about the risks associated with taking Saxenda, Victoza, Januvia or other similar medications, contact us today. We will review your case and help you determine the right course of action for you and what legal options you have available to you. Call us today to get started on your case and to start getting compensation for your injuries and suffering.