On September 3, 2013, Sanders Viener Grossman, LLP (affiliate of Phillips Grossman, PLLC) filed wrongful death lawsuits against Merck & Co. Inc., Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eli Lily & Co. in the Southern District of California in San Diego.  Today those cases were transferred to the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liability Action, Case MDL No. 2452.  More than 50 other cases have also been filed in the MDL, and many more lawsuits are expected.

Plaintiffs claim the drugs Byetta and Januvia caused the decedents to develop pancreatic cancer, which caused their deaths.  Byetta and Januvia are incretin mimetic drugs that were designed to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with Type-2 diabetes.  Byetta was approved by the FDA in 2005; Januvia was approved in 2006.

Plaintiffs claim the drug companies knew the drugs could cause pancreatic cancer, yet failed to inform the FDA or warn the public.

According to the complaints, “Defendants concealed their knowledge that Byetta and Januvia can cause life-threatening pancreatic cancer from decedent, other consumers, the general public, and the medical community.  Indeed, the manufacturers of Byetta and Januvia do not even mention ‘pancreatic cancer’ in their drugs’ respective product inserts.”

The plaintiffs seek their medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and punitive damages against defendants.

Byetta and Januvia are some of the top-selling drugs in the country, with sales of $700 million and $900 million respectively.  Those are annual amounts.

“Defendants were more interested in making money than protecting the public’s health,” said firm partner Marc Grossman.  “Unfortunately, that caused the deaths of our clients’ loved ones.”

Sanders Viener Grossman expects to file many more lawsuits against the defendants.  As stated in its court filings, Byetta and Januvia “are quite simply too dangerous and defective as formulated” and should be withdrawn from the market.  There are other less dangerous drugs available to treat Type-2 diabetes, according to the firm.

Phillips Grossman, PLLC, is a joint venture of Sanders Viener Grossman, LLP, and Phillips Law Firm, PLLC, with offices in Washington, New York, New Jersey, and California, and representing people from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Phillips Grossman provides national representation for those injured by pharmaceutical drugs and devices. If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective drug or device, please contact the attorneys at Phillips Grossman at 1-800-530-9800 or contact@phillipsgrossman.com for a free consultation.