Last year, drug giant Merck earned over $4 billion solely from the sales of its blockbuster diabetes drug Januvia. Now, however, they face increasing litigation from patients diagnosed with cancer after studies linked the drug to the disease.
Lawsuits alleging pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer started building earlier this year. By late spring, they had reached a tipping point where lawyers requested that cases be consolidated to a special multi-district court for expedited handling.
Now, experts fear thousands of patients affected by cancer could come forward to file a Januvia lawsuit. The judicial panel on multidistrict litigation has scheduled a hearing for July 25th to discuss the litigation and decide where cases will be handled.
An MDL, or multidistrict litigation court, is often preferred to a class action lawsuit in matters where potential damages are high and there are many plaintiffs. This unique system allows cases to remain independent while sharing in the resources of a combined legal action like a Januvia class action lawsuit.
Studies first uncovered a possible link to Januvia cancer in 2011, when researchers at UCLA discovered test subjects that were given the drug had a 172% higher rate of pancreatic cancer and a 48% higher rate of thyroid cancer. The drug companies which funded the study, however, did little to address the concerns.
Then, the American Medical Association warned this year of research showing drugs like Januvia, Janumet and Byetta could double the risk of pancreatitis, which can be a precursor for pancreatic cancer.
The FDA and American Diabetes Association have asked for new testing of the drugs without the influence of the manufacturers. Interestingly, a British Medical Journal report claimed that drug makers have withheld the raw data that could be used to identify risks and save lives.
Although there has not been a recall of Januvia, those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer have the right to seek compensation for their loss, as well as the loss for their families. If you or a loved one have been affected, speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Due to the complexity of these cases against large drug companies, DrugRisk only recommends lawyers who have already handled Januvia lawsuits.
Contact us today for more information on the research, side effects and litigation news related to Januvia, Janumet and other drugs, or to speak with a lawyer.