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Invokana MDL Centralizes Lawsuits in New Jersey

Invokana MDL Centralizes Lawsuits in New Jersey

December 8, 2016 — Federal judges have centralized nearly 100 lawsuits involving kidney damage, ketoacidosis, and other side effects of Invokana and Invokamet into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in New Jersey.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued a transfer order (PDF) for 55 lawsuits and 24 tag-along actions involving canagliflozin, a diabetes drug sold by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

All of the lawsuits claim these drugs cause a variety of injuries, including diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney damage. The drug-makers are accused of failing to test the drugs for safety or warn about risks.

The lawsuits will be centralized in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey under Judge Brian R. Martinotti — In RE: Invokana (Canagliflozin) Products Liability LitigationMDL No. 2750.

Invokana was the first member of a new class of diabetes drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors, which treat diabetes by forcing the kidneys to remove more sugar from the body in urine.

The JPML refused to centralize 20 lawsuits involving other SGLT2 inhibitor diabetes drugs like Farxiga (dapagliflozin), Jardiance (empagliflozin), or lawsuits involving a combination of medications.

SGLT2 inhibitors are associated with ketoacidosis, a life-threatening side effect in which the blood becomes too acidic. It was uncommon in people with type-2 diabetes until Invokana was approved in 2013.

Excessive urination can cause dehydration and low blood pressure, and more sugar in the urine can cause severe infections, including life-threatening cases of pyelonephritis or urosepsis. These side effects are both risk-factors for ketoacidosis and kidney failure.

The FDA has issued more warnings for Invokana than other SGLT2 inhibitors. Invokana is associated with higher rates of toe amputations, bone fractures after minor falls, and major cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes during the first 30 days of treatment.

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