Patients who used Victoza and were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
What is Victoza?
Victoza is a once-daily injectable prescription used to help control blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
In March 2013, the FDA announced that it would be reviewing new research linking pancreatitis and pre-cancerous pancreatic cell changes to the use of Victoza and other incretin mimetic drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes.
Type of Lawsuit
Lawsuits have been filed against pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk claiming that use of its diabetes drug Victoza can lead to the development of life-threatening pancreatic cancer. The lawsuits claim that the warnings for the drug are “simply inadequate” and that the manufacturer knew Victoza could cause pancreatic cancer, but concealed this information from healthcare professionals and the public.
What Are Lawsuits Saying About Victoza?
Defective drug lawsuits are typically filed after a manufacturer releases a product that has a defect in design, manufacture, or marketing (i.e. inadequate warnings). Lawsuits involving Victoza claim:
The formulation of Victoza is flawed and increases a user’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer
Novo Nordisk concealed the pancreatic cancer risk from patients and the medical community
Novo Nordisk concealed this knowledge to prevent the drug from being rejected by the FDA or being delayed in the approval process
Novo Nordisk did not advise doctors to look for cellular changes in the pancreas in Victoza users
The label for Victoza does not even mention pancreatic cancer as a possible side effect
Even if it was sold with adequate warnings, Victoza still would not pose enough of a benefit to users to outweigh its risks
Victoza is “too dangerous and defective” and should be removed from the market
Knowing that a link existed between Victoza and pancreatic cancer, Novo Nordisk continued to market the drug as a safe and effective treatment
Is This a Class Action Lawsuit?
This is not a class action lawsuit. Lawsuits involving drugs and defective medical devices are rarely class actions. For more information on why, click here.
Suits Consolidated to Save Time, Money and Resources
All federally-filed lawsuits alleging that Victoza can cause pancreatic cancer have been consolidated to a single court (Southern District of California) to be handled by one judge (U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia) in a legal proceeding known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). The suits were consolidated after a panel of federal judges found that the cases made similar allegations against the same defendants and therefore could be handled most efficiently as an MDL. It is important to remember that even though the lawsuits have been consolidated to a single court, each plaintiff will retain his or her own attorney, suit, and right to an individual award.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
Most attorneys handling defective drug litigation work on a contingency-fee basis. This means that the client will only have to pay his or her attorney if the case is successful. In these cases, the attorney will typically collect one-third of the final verdict or settlement.
How Can Victoza Cause Pancreatic Cancer?
To understand the potential link between Victoza and pancreatic cancer, it is important to know how the drug works. Victoza, and other drugs known as incretin mimetics, mimic naturally-occurring hormones known as Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1), which help control blood sugar levels. When these drugs are ingested, GLP-1 receptor activity is increased. Unfortunately, some studies have suggested that increased levels of GLP-1 receptor activity may be linked to the development of pancreatic cancer.
Victoza FDA Warning
According to an FDA safety communication, new, unpublished findings suggest that a link exists between pre-cancerous cell changes and use of Victoza and other incretin mimetics. The agency announced that it would be reviewing these findings and asked the researchers to provide additional information on the specimens used in their study. The agency will continue to further evaluate the potential pancreatic toxicity associated with Victoza and other incretin mimetics used in patients with Type 2 diabetes.