For more information or confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Leadership Roles Appointed for Incretin Mimetics MDL Pretrial Proceedings

A group of attorneys representing plaintiffs with Janumet, Byetta, Victoza, and Januvia lawsuits filed under the incretin mimetics multidistrict litigation, currently pending in the Southern District of California, have been appointed to various leadership roles during coordinated pretrial proceedings.

Federal Judge Anthony Battaglia held an initial conference with the attorneys on October 17, to review the organization and structure of the federal proceedings.

On October 21, Judge Battaglia issued an order appointing nearly two dozen lawyers to serve in leadership roles throughout the litigation process. The appointed lawyers will be responsible for taking specific actions during the discovery and pretrial proceedings that will benefit all plaintiffs with Janumet, Byetta, Victoza, and Januvia lawsuits filed under MDL 2452.

Judge Battaglia assigned the following appointments:

  1. Co-Lead Counsel ─ three attorneys
  2. Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee ─ four attorneys
  3. Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee ─ 13 attorneys
  4. Co-Liaison Counsel ─ two attorneys
  5. State and Federal Court Liaison ─ one attorney

Incretin mimetics cancer risk

Januvia, Byetta and other incretin mimetics drugs work to mimic the incretin hormones in Type II diabetes patients that are typically produced naturally by the body to stimulate insulin after eating. Along with proper diet and exercise, these drugs are prescribed to lower patient’s blood sugar levels.

Results of a diabetes drug study by Johns Hopkins researchers, published in the February 2013 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, the journal of the American Medical Association, suggest the existence of a link between pancreatic cancer an incretin mimetics. The study found that patients taking Byetta have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer, than those taking other drugs.

Researchers analyzed the medical records of 1,269 patients with Type II diabetes who filled at least one prescription for any kind of diabetes drug during a three year time period. Results showed that 87 of the patients who developed pancreatitis were taking either Byetta or Januvia, while 58 of the patients who developed the condition were taking another type of diabetes drug.

Januvia lawsuits joined together in MDL

At least 150 product liability cases are currently pending under MDL 2452 against the manufacturers of Januvia, Byetta, Janumet, and Victoza, from plaintiffs who allege they developed pancreatic cancer as a side effect of taking incretin mimetics.

The MDL was established in August 2013 and Judge Battaglia is presiding over the cases. Litigation was centralized to elimination duplicate discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of both parties and the courts. More cases are expected to be added to the MDL in the coming months.

Some of the allegations shared by plaintiffs who have filed Januvia, Janumet, Victoza, and Byetta lawsuits include the following shared claims:

  • Defendants failed to conduct satisfactory clinical testing on the drugs before putting them on the market.
  • Defendants failed to advise the medical community of the importance of monitoring patients for initial signs of pancreatic changes.
  • Failure to issue a product recall.
  • Failure to provide patients with sufficient warnings about Januvia’s link with increased risk for serious side effects like pancreatic and thyroid cancer, and pancreatitis.