Alabama Janumet Lawsuit Attorneys
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently reported that Janumet, and its sister drug, Januvia, can lead to swelling of the pancreas, and possibly increase a patient’s risk of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest form of the disease. Alabama Janumet lawsuit attorneys are warning patients who have taken the diabetes drug of the risks they may have incurred unknowingly.
First approved on March 30, 2007 by the FDA, according to Alabama Janumet Lawsuit attorneys the drug was designed to treat adult patients who had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Also sold under the generic name sitagliptin metformin, the drug is manufactured by Merck & Company. The oral medication is normally taken once per day by patients suffering from diabetes. In 2011, Nancy A. Tornberry and Ann E. Weber, Ph.D., received the Discoverers Award for that year, one of the highest given by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America for leadership that led to the discovery of the drug. They were the first women to be honored alone for their contribution, and the first women in Merck’s history to lead a team that discovered a new medication.
What Does Janumet Do?
When the pancreas does not make enough insulin, the liver produces too much sugar. Because muscle cells are very sensitive to insulin, they are unable to absorb sugar properly in patients with high insulin levels, and muscles need sugar for energy. Because the muscles cannot absorb the sugar, the levels of sugar in the blood become high, and patients are diagnosed with diabetes. In addition, when this happens, your body instructs your pancreas to release more insulin in an attempt to reduce blood sugar levels, while your pancreas works to stop your liver from releasing sugars. Researchers found that sitagliptin helped the pancreas release insulin and lowered the amount of sugar made by the liver. Unfortunately, as discovered by Alabama Janumet lawsuit attorneys, researchers are learning that forcing the pancreas to release more insulin could be placing patients at risk for pancreatic cancer.
Janumet and Pancreatic Cancer
Alabama Janumet lawsuit attorneys have learned through press releases from the FDA that Janumet can cause a dangerous swelling of the pancreas, and that some cases of pancreatitis have caused patients to not only be hospitalized, but to be placed in the intensive care unit. This report is troubling enough to Alabama Janumet Lawsuit attorneys, but recently, the FDA reported studies that have found an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in patients using Janumet. The one-year survival rate for pancreatic is only 20 percent. More troubling is that the five-year survival rate of someone diagnosed with the disease is only 4 percent, making pancreatic cancer the deadliest of all cancers. Many Alabama Janumet lawsuit attorneys are asking patients who have taken Janumet to contact them to learn what rights they have regarding the drug.
Merck Fails to Comply
As far back as 2012, Merck was notified by the FDA that they had not complied with proper reporting regarding the safety of Janumet. Even more troubling, an endocrinologist at UCLA says that, in 2008, he notified Merck of the potential risk of pancreatic cancer in patients using the drug. The doctor conducted a study on diabetic rats that had been treated by Januvia and discovered an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. However, Merck chose not to notify doctors who were prescribing the medication to patients of this discovery, according Alabama Janumet lawsuit attorneys. Merck did not include any warnings of pancreatic issues, including pancreatitis, until the FDA ordered them to do so, leading may Alabama Janumet lawsuit attorneys to believe that Merck was aware of the potential dangers, yet ignored warnings.
Pancreatic cancer’s extremely high mortality rate should be of concern to any patient who has taken Janumet to treat diabetes. These patients should contact Alabama Janumet lawsuit attorneys to discover rights they have if taking Janumet causes them to develop pancreatic cancer. Anyone diagnosed with acute pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer after taking Janumet, or those whose loved ones died of pancreatic cancer after taking the drug, should contact Alabama Janumet lawsuit attorneys.