Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit Filed Over Janumet, Victoza and Byetta Use

A Louisiana woman has filed a lawsuit against the makers of three different diabetes drugs, alleging that she developed pancreatic cancer from Janumet, Victoza and Byetta. 

The compaint (PDF) was filed on March 20, by Rosalie Duhon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

The lawsuit names Merck & Co., Novo Nordisk, Inc., Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company as defendants, alleging that Duhon used diabetes medications manufactured by each of the drug makers between February 2006 and May 2011, when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

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Duhon claims that she developed cancer as a result of the side effects of Byetta, Victoza and Janumet (which combines Januvia with metformin). All of the drugs are prescribed for treatment of type 2 diabetes and are all part of a class of medications known is incretin mimetics, which have been linked to a risk of pancreatitis and concerns about the development of pancreatic cancer.

FDA Investigating Diabetes Drugs for Pancreatic Cancer Links

Earlier this month, the FDA announced it is investigating a potential link between pancreatic cancer and Byetta, Januvia, Victoza and other incretin mimetics.

The review came after findings of a study that examined pancreatic tissue taken from users after they died, which suggested that patients treated with incretin mimetics face an increased risk of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous cellular changes, known as pancreatic duct metaplasia. The FDA has asked the researchers for information on the methodology used to collect and study these specimens, as well as for tissue samples so the agency may further investigate the potential pancreatic toxicity.

Incretin mimetic drugs mimic the incretin hormones that the body uses to stimulate the production of insulin. They are used to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. The class includes the drugs Byetta, Bydureon, Januvia, Janumet, Janumet XR, Jentadueto, Juvisync, Kazano, Kombiglze XR, Nesina, Onglyza, Tradjenta, and Victoza.

The lawsuit claims that had Duhon or her doctor been properly warned about the potential pancreatic cancer side effects of Byetta, Janumet, and Victoza, she would not have taken the drugs.

Duhon accuses the manufacturers of failure to warn, designing defective drugs, negligence, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent concealment. She seeks compensation for her injuries, medical expenses, pain, suffering and other economic damages, as well as punitive damages.


  • millardApril 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    my wife died in 2004 of pancreatic cancer, she used lantus, insulan. after 2000. I havent found out yet what was used before year 2000.

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