Researchers at Johns Hopkins reported that more than 1,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes who were treated with incretin mimetics showed a 150 percent increased incidence of pancreatitis, compared to those treated with other drugs. This study is particularly alarming to Januvia users who are worried that their pancreatitis diagnosis could lead to Januvia cancer.
As of October 2014, more than 300 incretin mimetics lawsuits alleging pancreatic cancer have been filed in district courts throughout the US. Because of this increase in litigation, a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California has been established.
In September 2014, Frances Pickett joined the MDL. She filed a Januvia lawsuit against Merck & Co., claiming that the drug company failed to warn users of Januvia risks, and it was their responsibility to do so. Pickett was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, after taking Januvia from November 2011 through September 2013.
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Januvia plaintiffs claim that Merck deliberately concealed evidence that Januvia caused pancreatitis because such side effects would hurt sales.
The MDL No. 2452 is expected to handle pretrial matters more expediently and reduce duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of the parties and the court.