Nearly every American knows someone who has diabetes. Of the two types, Type 2 is the more common with more than 30 million people currently living with the disease. Typically, treatments include a daily medication and one of the most popular of these is Victoza. But recently, the public learned that Victoza comes with some life-threatening risks.
The History Of Victoza
The manufacturers of Victoza, Novo Nordisk, received their approval for the drug from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration on January 25th, 2010 which allowed them to market the drug to the medical community and public.
The company promoted the once a day drug as one of the best available because unlike other diabetes medications, it works in three ways to regulate blood sugar:
- It helps to slow the process through which food leaves the stomach and enters into the small intestine.
- It works to regulate the way that the liver makes sugar, ensuring that the liver doesn’t over produce sugar.
- It helps the pancreas make more insulin if blood sugar levels are high by stimulating beta cells.
They also pushed the idea that the drug may help many patients lose weight, although they admitted that it was not a weight loss drug. Needless to say, their advertising worked and Victoza was soon prescribed to millions of patients. But in just over a year, the FDA would announce some serious risks associated with the drug.
The Updated Safety Information
On June 13th, 2011, the FDA released an update to the original label produced for the drug. In it, they indicated that the reason for the update was that “a recent assessment of healthcare providers showed that some primary care providers are not fully aware of the serious risks associated with the use of Victoza.”
Specifically, the FDA indicated that patients who were on Victoza were more likely to develop pancreatitis than those on other medications. The administration also indicated that additional studies performed on mice and rats had shown that animals treated with the drug were at high risk for the development of thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Although the FDA couldn’t confirm that the results would be the same in humans, they did say that any patients who were found to have thyroid nodules on examination should be referred immediately to an endocrinologist.
This wasn’t the only communication issued by the FDA. On March 14th, 2013, a safety communication was issued that reported the administration was going to further investigate findings by an independent group which showed that when a patient on Victoza died of unspecified causes, pancreatic tissues showed an increase in pre-cancerous cells.
In June of 2016, an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine announced that researchers had found that patients on Victoza were twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer compared to patients who were given a placebo. It was also determined that patients on the drug were at increased risk for the development of gallstones and gallbladder disease.
Over the last several years, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed alleging that the manufacturer failed to warn patients of the serious risks associated with taking the drug.
Due to the large number of lawsuits filed, each of which is making similar allegations, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the lawsuits into MDL 2452. This does not prevent new cases from being filed, it simply saves all parties involved time and money.
How Do I Know If I Have A Case?
If you believe that you or a loved one suffered from a serious side effect after taking Victoza, it is important that you contact our defective drug lawyers right away. We can review your medical records, explain all possible legal options available to you, and help you fill out any necessary paperwork.
How Much Are Your Fees?
Our team works on a contingency fee which means that any amount we take comes directly out of the compensation you are awarded. We will go over our fees upfront so that there are no surprises. If you don’t win, we don’t get paid.