Are you one of the millions of people taking Victoza (liraglutide) to control Type-2 Diabetes? You may have heard about a recent Public Citizen petition to ban this drug. Compared to many other diabetes drugs already on the market, Victoza has been linked to a higher risk of acute pancreatitis, thyroid cancer, kidney failure, allergic reactions, and other life-threatening side effects. These conditions can be extremely painful, debilitating, and expensive to treat. In severe cases, they can lead to permanent organ failure, disability, or death.
What You Can Do & How a Victoza Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Victoza induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Victoza, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Victoza Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
UPDATE: Petition to Ban Victoza
April 19, 2012: The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has submitted a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), calling for Victoza to be immediately banned from the U.S. market. Although Victoza has only been available since 2010, it has already been linked to thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, serious allergic reactions, and kidney failure. With 11 classes of diabetes drugs already approved to treat Type-2 Diabetes, the advocates say there is no need for patients to take an additional risk with Victoza. The FDA approved Victoza against the advice of two FDA experts, who said that the risk of serious side effects outweighs any benefits.
As more and more safety issues emerged after Victoza was approved, the FDA has simply updated the label on Victoza to warn about the risk of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, renal failure, and other deadly side effects. However, Public Citizen is calling the FDA’s actions “reckless” and “not sufficient,” because physicians and patients may not pay attention to the new warnings. Instead of more label updates, they are calling for the drug to be banned from the U.S. market.
Victoza (liraglutide) is a once-daily, injectable diabetes drug used to help control blood sugar (glucose) in adults with Type-2 diabetes. People with Type-2 diabetes have cells that are resistant to insulin, which makes it difficult to control blood sugar levels. Victoza works by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin after a meal.
Victoza is manufactured by Novo Nordisk and was approved by the FDA in January 2010. Since its approval, Victoza has become one of the most popular diabetes drugs in the United States and Europe. In 2011, sales topped $670 million. Victoza has recently been promoted by Paula Deen, a popular Food Network TV show host who is known for her high-sugar, butter-filled recipes. Deen recently announced that she had Type-2 diabetes, and has since become a celebrity spokeswoman for Victoza.
Victoza Adverse Events
Since Victoza was approved, more and more people have reported serious Victoza adverse events. In June 2011, the FDA updated the label on Victoza to warn patients about the increased risk of pancreatitis, thyroid cancer, and renal failure.
Clinical studies have also found the following risks of Victoza adverse events, most of which are higher for Victoza than for other diabetes medications:
- The risk of gastrointestinal effects (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, etc.) was twice as high with Victoza compared to other diabetes medications
- The risk of pancreatitis was 3.7-times higher in Victoza patients compared to patients taking other diabetes drugs
- The risk of papillary thyroid cancer was three times higher in Victoza patients
- The risk of thyroid C-cell hyperplasia was 2.4-times higher in Victoza patients
Victoza and Thyroid Cancer
The safety information for Victoza already warns that in animal studies, Victoza caused thyroid tumors–including thyroid cancer–in both sexes of rats and mice. The rodents were administered doses of Victoza comparable to doses given to humans, which is a warning sign that Victoza could potentially cause thyroid cancer in humans.
In fact, in pre-approval studies of human patients, Victoza had a higher risk of cancer compared to other diabetes drugs. The risk of papillary thyroid cancer was three times higher, and the risk of thyroid C-cell hyperplasia was 2.4-times more likely to occur.
In response to this risk, the FDA is requiring the manufacturers of Victoza to conduct a 5-year safety study to compare the rates of thyroid cancer among Victoza patients to non-Victoza patients. The FDA is also requiring the manufacturer to keep track of how many thyroid cancer cases occur for the next 15 years. If Victoza causes thyroid cancer in humans, experts will not know this until more people use Victoza, develop cancer, and report their life-threatening side effect to the manufacturer.
Victoza and Pancreatitis
Public Citizen warns: “In the first 17 months of Victoza being on the market, 200 patients were diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. … Because only an estimated 10 percent of cases are reported, potentially as many as 2,000 patients or more have suffered a painful and serious outcome as a result of taking Victoza.”
People taking Victoza may have a higher risk of gastrointestinal problems, which includes abdominal pain. This pain can hide symptoms of pancreatitis, which usually begins as abdominal pain that radiates to the back, possibly with nausea and vomiting.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, which is the organ responsible for producing insulin. Most diabetes drugs increase a person’s risk of pancreatitis; however, the risk with Victoza may be higher than for other drugs. How much higher? In early clinical trials, pancreatitis was 3.7-times more common in Victoza patients compared to patients who were taking other diabetes drugs.
Victoza Side Effects
Side effects of Victoza may include, but are not limited to:
- Thyroid Cancer
- Renal failure
- Worsening of chronic renal failure
- Kidney failure
- Serious allergic reaction
- Infections (especially in the upper and lower respiratory tract)
- Gastrointestinal adverse effects
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Do I have a Victoza Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Victoza induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Victoza, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Victoza Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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