Since October of 2006 doctors have been prescribing Januvia for the treatment of diabetes. Januvia is an oral medication used to target the incretin system, which helps to regulate glucose by affecting the alpha and beta cells in the pancreas. As with many new drugs on the market it can take years before the true side effects begin to surface. A study performed in 2011 found that Januvia was directly related to pancreatic cancer in many of the patients it was prescribed. The study found that these patients were over 2.5 times more likely to develop this deadly form of cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth deadliest form of cancer in both men and women. The drug is also linked to pancreatitis, a very painful condition that causes the pancreas to become inflamed. The condition can be acute and pass quickly with proper treatment, or it can take a chronic form, causing the condition to linger over several years.
Although the drug was approved by the FDA, it is being alleged that the drug manufacturer was negligent in several ways including but not limited to:
- Merck & Co., Inc., represented the drug to be one with minimal side effects without disclosing the strong link between the drug and pancreatic cancer
- Merck & Co., Inc., failed to both conduct and document post market safety surveillance on Januvia
- Merck & Co., Inc., had actual knowledge through extensive studies, that using Januvia for extended periods of time will increase the risk of pancreatic cancer
- Merck & Co., Inc., had actual knowledge and should have known that the risk of pancreatic cancer in patients who used the drug was greater than the risk disclosed in warnings displayed on Januvia packaging
- Merck & Co., Inc., failed to investigate the accuracy of its warning label after becoming aware of safety issues
- Merck & Co., Inc., failed to monitor all relevant medical findings related to Januvia side effects cancer
- Januvia was not reasonably safe as designed due to the foreseeable risks involved in its use outweighed the benefits of the drug.
If you or a loved one have been injured by this type of drug please call our office. We will be glad to help.