Reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been issued concerning the deaths of two patients as a result of pancreatitis linked to Byetta, a prescription medication. Byetta is generally prescribed to patients with Type-2 diabetes. There were six reports submitted to the FDA regarding patients that developed pancreatitis as a result of taking Byetta. The remaining four patients are reported to be in different stages of recovery.

As a result of the reports and deaths, the FDA issued a warning to doctors and patients that encouraged immediate discontinuation of the drug if symptoms or signs of acute pancreatitis developed. Pancreatitis is when there is swelling of the pancreas and it can result in vomiting, stomach pain and nausea.

In America, pancreatic cancer is known to be one of the leading causes of death. It garnered a lot of attention after the death of Steve Jobs from the disease. The reason why it’s considered to be one of the most dangerous cancers is because it has a low survival rate. In fact, 74 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will die within just one year of being diagnosed; 94 percent will die within 5 years.

There have been lawsuits filed across the United States against Eli Lilly, Merck & Co, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals by patients that have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Byetta. Prior to the lawsuits filed in 2009, the dangers of Byetta were disclosed and the FDA chose to change the warning label on the drug to provide notification of associated risks. The new warning label specified that there was a risk of acute pancreatitis that could result from taking Byetta.

Later in 2011, research conducted on the drug revealed that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer from taking Byetta was nearly three times greater. During that same year, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) revealed that there were serious side effects that could also be deadly. The UCLA report named both Byetta and Januvia as prescription medications with side effects that could be deadly.

Two years after the UCLA report was issued, there was another study conducted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) that followed up on medications used for the purpose of treating Type-2 diabetes. This report was more extensive and provided data related to five different medications, including Byetta, Januvia, Tradjenta, Onglyza, and Victoza. The study uncovered more than 1,700 “serious adverse drug events” that were reported to the FDA.

The serious adverse drug events reported by the 2013 ISMP report included pancreatitis, renal failure, thyroid cancer and pancreatic cancer. The response from the FDA was to issue a recommendation to the manufacturers of Byetta to expand the warning labels so that they included the other serious illnesses aforementioned, in addition to pancreatitis. Many lawsuits have been filed against Byetta, Januvia and other makers of drugs known to create serious adverse drug events

Although there have been lawsuits filed against the manufacturers, there are also cases against the doctors that prescribed the medications. For instance, there was a $1.8 million verdict against a doctor in Minnesota that prescribed Byetta. There is a widespread belief that doctors should be aware of any dangers associated with the drugs they prescribe. What’s both ironic and troubling is that the FDA approved Byetta in 2005, which was long before patients loss their life as a result of the medication. In fact, Januvia, Victoza and Janumet were also approved back in 2005. Another interesting fact is that the FDA has continuously reapproved these drugs, despite the life-threatening dangers.

There are hundreds of personal injury cases pending that have been consolidated and are currently part of the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) pool, which is used for consolidated discovery. In fact, there were more than 300 cases pending back in 2014. Defendants in these cases included the drug manufacturers and their affiliates, such as Eli Lilly, Merck & Co, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, as well as Bristol-Myers Squibb after they purchased Amylin Pharmaceuticals in 2012

The bases of the lawsuits filed is that the makers of the drugs did not provide an adequate enough warning to both doctors and patients regarding the significant risks associated with taking the medication. This includes the possibility of pancreatic cancer and death. Patients allege that the manufacturers of the drugs created unreasonable risks and did not demonstrate reasonable care, which resulted in personal injury. The plaintiffs also state that manufacturers either should have known or knew about the significant risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

If you have been harmed by taking Byetta, contact Zayed Law Offices for a consultation. They are highly skilled at handling cases involving pharmaceutical defects. In addition to having expertise in the area of pharmaceutical defects, the attorneys at Zayed Law Offices are committed to providing quality client service and recovering the compensation that you deserve.