Authored by Chris Schroeder
Following a series of health warnings that diabetes medications like Byetta may be linked to pancreatic or thyroid cancer, many of those affected have sought legal advice to file a claim against the manufacturer.
However, with the number of cases growing, victims didn’t know if their cases would be handled at the local level or combined into a specialized federal court.
Last week, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a long-awaited order following a hearing in July. Federal cases will be consolidated to a multidistrict court in the Southern District of California.
DrugNews believes this MDL system will give victims the best chance for justice and the quickest resolution.
Similar to a class action lawsuit in which plaintiffs share evidence and resources, an MDL can be more advantageous since victims have more control over their individual cases and can select their own counsel. This has led to widespread settlements for similar defective drug lawsuits like Yaz and Vioxx.
Byetta is an injectable GLP-1 diabetes medication designed to promote insulin production and limit the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. The drug has become hugely popular, selling more than $300 million last year for Bristol-Myers Squibb.
However, studies show it may also inhibit the body’s ability to defend itself against cancer.
The FDA first advised in 2007 that Byetta may be linked to pancreatitis. In 2011, researchers at UCLA also noticed higher rates of pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer among test subjects.
This year, the American Medical Association, American Diabetes Association and British Medical Journal have all warned of a cancer link or proposed that new testing be done to identify risks.
This summer, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices warned that Byetta is responsible for more than half of the complaints to the FDA over serious diabetes drug complications like pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer or pancreatitis.
Although the FDA has not issued a Byetta recall, those affected can seek compensation to help themselves and their families through a Byetta lawsuit.
Anyone diagnosed with cancer after taking Byetta should talk with a lawyer as soon as possible to find out if they qualify for a case and what help is available.
Due to the complexity of these cases, DrugNews only recommends lawyers who have already handled Byetta lawsuits. Contact us today for more information on the research, side effects and litigation news related to Byetta, or to speak with a lawyer.