Amid Mounting Concerns Over Victoza Problems, Sales Disappoint

Novo Nordisk reports that first quarter sales for Victoza are up about 80% from last year, but the relatively new diabetes drug failed to beat sales from the prior quarter and disappointed analysts amid mounting concerns over potential problems with Victoza.

In an earnings statement released last week, Novo Nordisk cited Victoza as part of the reason for sales growth of 13% for the company during the first quarter of 2012. However, analysts indicate that sales of Victoza were about 9% under expectations.

Victoza (liraglutide) was just approved by the FDA in January 2010, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes among those who fail to achieve glucose control after trying diet, exercise and other drugs for diabetes.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

The drug quickly grew to become a widely used diabetes medication and analysts expected the growth to continue, as the world-wide roll-out of the drug continues. However, it is possible that sales may be slowing due to mounting concerns over health problems associated with Victoza.

Last month, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen filed a petition with the FDA calling for a Victoza recall to be issued in the United States, indicating that the potential risk of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, kidney failure and other problems associated with the medication outweigh the benefits provided over other diabetes treatments.

Since approved by the FDA in 2010, new warnings have been added to the drug’s label about a risk of pancreatitis, thyroid C-cell tumors and worsening renal function associated with use of Victoza.

According to an analysis of the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System database by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, more than 200 cases of acute pancreatitis and 8 cases of pancreatic cancer, as well as 26 cases of thyroid tumors, were reported by Victoza users between February 2010 through September 2011.

Novo Nordisk has rejected arguments calling for Victoza to be removed from the market, indicating that they do not expect the FDA to act on Public Citizen’s petition and stating that doctors and patients should remain confident in the drug’s safety.

During the short period of time Victoza has been available, it has grown to become one of Novo Nordisk’s best selling medications, generating sales of more than $350 million per quarter.


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories