Product Liability Update: FDA Investigating Possible Increased Risk of Cancer from Popular Diabetes Drugs
The Food and Drug Administration and its European counterpart, the European Medicines Agency, recently announced that they are investigating whether a type of popular diabetes medication may cause an increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The investigations center on a group of diabetes medications known as "incretin mimetics," which stimulate the release of insulin in diabetes patients. Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in this class include Byetta, Januvia, Janumet, and Victoza.
The FDA investigation comes in the wake of a studies published in February in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal. The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, concluded that the use of incretin mimetic medications resulted in cellular changes that could double one's risk of developing pancreatitis and also increase their risk of pancreatic cancer. A subsequent study reaching a similar conclusion was published in March in the medical journal Diabetes.
The FDA is advising patients currently using these drugs to continue to take them as prescribed until they have the opportunity to speak with their doctors. You can read the FDA's March 14th press release here.
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