Mime Drug Still in Hot Water

Lawsuits filed against incretin mimetic drugs such as Januvia have been gaining momentum ever since the first studies came out linking the treatment for type 2 diabetes was linked to high risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Reviews are ongoing but it doesn’t look good for the Merck & Co. product, which posted a 2% decrease in its 2013 sales for Januvia, bagging less than the $4.09 billion it made in 2012.

Diabetes medication is always good business, with 20 million in the US alone diagnosed with either Type I or Type II diabetes, with an estimated 9 million still undiagnosed. It is no wonder that despite its legal troubles, Merck still continues to do brisk business with Januvia as litigation moves forward.

Multidistrict litigaton against the company (In Re: Incretins Products Liability, Sales and Marketing Litigation, MDL 2452) has experienced some setbacks in the Southern District of California when the court ruled against its Motion to Compel discovery regarding the prior knowledge of the companies about the link between the medication and cancer of the pancreas.

But the defendants are facing a long road ahead as more cases are being filed nationwide. The findings of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would have a significant impact on the legal proceedings, but no conclusion about the link between incretin mimetic drugs and pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis has yet been published. The FDA’s European counterparts are in the same situation.

The continued uncertainty over the safety of using Januvia and other incretin mimetics are certain to have a slow but progressive effect on sales even if there is no conclusive evidence over these alleged side effects. However, until litigation is finally put to rest, it is likely that drug makers will still continue to realize significant profits from the drugs.

If you suspect you have been seriously harmed from using Januvia or other incretin mimetic drugs, you can make your voice heard. People harmed by dangerous products may be able to receive compensation for their trouble.

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