The attorneys at Doyle Lowther LLP are currently assisting individuals who developed pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer after using diabetes drug Byetta.
Byetta, also known as exenatide, is administered to diabetics via injection. Byetta is a prescription drug for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, and was approved by the FDA on April 28, 2005.
Byetta is manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and marketed by Eli Lilly & Co. Byetta is used by many for treating Type 2 diabetes. Over two million people worldwide use Byetta exenatide injection to treat their Type 2 diabetes.
Since its release in 2005, Byetta has an extensive history of severe complications. From 2007 through 2009, the FDA has issued multiple safety warnings about Byetta’s link to severe adverse events. Byetta’s severe adverse events include acute pancreatitis (2007), hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis (2008), and altered kidney function (2009).
Most troubling are recent studies linking Byetta use to dramatically increased risks of pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer.
Byetta and Pancreatic Cancer
In September 2011, USA Today reported a University of California Los Angeles study had concluded patients who take Byetta to control Type 2 Diabetes may be at increased risk for pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer. The UCLA study (pdf) links “sitagliptin,” used to lower blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes, with a whopping 2.9 times increased pancreatic cancer risk.
Pancreatic cancer is a dangerous, and often fatal, form of cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Pancreatic cancer results in 40,000 deaths annually. Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to diagnose and usually remains undiscovered until later stages, when it often becomes impossible to treat.
Pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms may include:
- weight loss
- dark urine
- clay-colored stools
- back pain
Detecting pancreatic cancer early is critical. Early detection greatly improves a patient’s survival chances. Byetta users experiencing any of the signs and symptoms listed above should immediately contact their doctor to determine whether they have pancreatic cancer, and to inquire about treatment.
Byetta and Thyroid Cancer
A 2011 study by Dr. Peter Butler, published in the journal Gastroenterology, concluded Byetta use may increase your thyroid cancer risk by 4.7 times. Despite the study and significant increase in thyroid cancer risk resulting from Byetta, the FDA failed to remove Byetta from the market.
Instead, the FDA asked Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly to conduct additional studies to determine whether Byetta increases thyroid cancer risk. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 60,000 new cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed annually. Thyroid cancer kills approximately 1,800 people annually. Unlike other cancers, thyroid cancer is more common in people under age 55. Two out of three thyroid cancers are diagnosed in persons under age 55.
Thyroid cancer signs and symptoms may include:
- thyroid lump (nodule)
- difficulty swallowing
- enlargement of the thyroid gland
- hoarseness or changing voice
- neck swelling
Detecting thyroid cancer early is critical. Byetta users experiencing any of the signs and symptoms listed above should immediately contact their doctor to determine whether they have thyroid cancer, and to inquire about treatment.
Currently, dozens of lawsuits are pending against Amylin and Eli Lilly alleging they failed to warn consumers about the increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer. Patients also allege the defendants failed to adequately test Byetta’s safety before its market release.
There currently is a request pending with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate all current and future Byetta cases which are filed in federal court. “Consolidation” means all current and future Byetta cancer lawsuits will be transferred to a single federal judge. The pending motion (pdf), to be heard on July 25, 2013, asks the court to transfer all current and future filed Byetta cases to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
In mass tort and class action litigation, it is common for individual cases to be consolidated before a single court, with a single judge. Attorneys for Byetta users anticipate the cases will, in fact, be transferred to the Southern District of California, and the defendants, Amylin and Eli Lilly, support consolidation.
The experienced and compassionate mass tort attorneys at Doyle Lowther are currently reviewing Byetta-related pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer cases in all fifty states. If you or a family member were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer after taking Byetta or after taking an exenatide injection, you may be eligible to file a claim. Please submit an electronic form and an experienced professional will immediately respond with a free and confidential legal consultation.