Robert, age 78, was diagnosed with diabetes eight years ago. He admits to having no idea whether Januvia controlled his blood sugar, but figures it did more harm than good.
“I was prescribed Januvia in 2010, and not long afterward my doctor told me to stop taking it and gave me another drug,” he says. “I didn’t ask why, I leave it up to my doctor to know what’s best for me.”
Robert wonders if indeed his doctor did know what was best for his patient. Robert was diagnosed with pancreatitis one year later, had another bout in 2012, and was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Early this year, he had surgery to remove part of his pancreas and spleen. Now Robert wonders if he qualifies to file a Januvia lawsuit.
As of September 27, 2013, there have been 60 cases filed alleging Januvia and similar drugs (Byetta, Janumet and Victoza) caused cancer, according to court records from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which has consolidated Januvia lawsuits.
“Of course I had never heard of Januvia and pancreatitis or Januvia pancreatic cancer until it was too late,” Robert says. “Then I saw media claims about the connection. I started to look back at my history after taking Januvia. Then I looked at my last prescription bottle, which also has a few Januvia pills left. (I have that silly habit of keeping the bottles and pills, maybe because they are extremely expensive.) I re-read the information leaflet listing the common side effects, but it doesn’t mention pancreatitis.
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“My doctors told me it will take about a year to recover. When I had pancreas surgery, lucky for me it was the tail end: I still have some of my pancreas, which is working at about 20 percent. But I am taking huge amounts of insulin, injecting this stuff five times a day. According to the researchers, I have Januvia to thank. Now it is up to the attorneys to prove it.