Celebrity chef Paula Deen and former NBA star Dominique Wilkins have successfully used Victoza to manage their type 2 diabetes, but others have not been so fortunate. Victoza has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, a fast spreading and deadly form of cancer that often isn’t detected until it’s too late. If you or someone you care about has developed pancreatic cancer and has used Victoza, you should know that you may be able to bring a claim and recover money from the drug’s manufacturer.
At John Foy & Associates, we have built our law practice on the simple principle that injured people have rights, even against huge pharmaceutical companies. We have a long history of successfully pursuing claims for medical injuries, and if you or someone close to you is a Victoza patient with pancreatic cancer, we’d like to talk with you. Our consultations are free, and there’s never any obligation. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What is Victoza?
Victoza is used to help control Type 2 diabetes. It is made by Novo Nordisk and has been on the market in the United States since 2010. Victoza comes in a pen form that patients then administer to themselves each day by injection.
Unlike some diabetes drugs, Victoza does not contain insulin. Here’s how it works. People who have type 2 diabetes do not produce enough incretins, substances that are released by the small intestine after a meal to stimulate the release of insulin. One of these incretins is known as GLP-1. GLP-1 slows food from leaving the stomach, helping to control blood sugar. Since the body does not produce enough GLP-1, an obvious solution would be to inject more of it. But there is another enzyme, DDP-4, that quickly metabolizes GLP-1, and this means it won’t work to simply supply the body with more natural GLP-1.
Drugs like Victoza solve this issue by imitating the GLP-1 that naturally occurs in the body, but in a form that’s not easy for DDP-4 to metabolize. Because of this function, Victoza is known as an incretin mimetic drug.
What about the link between Victoza and pancreatic cancer?
Studies have shown a link between Victoza and both pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Pancreatitis is an inflammation in the pancreas which can become chronic or life threatening, or can be a precursor to pancreatic cancer.
In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was evaluating new research indicating that incretin mimetics like Victoza may lead to an increased risk of pancreatitis or precancerous cells in the pancreas. The FDA has also warned the public of risks of acute pancreatitis after using some other incretin mimetic drugs.
A 2016 clinical trials study by the manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, reported that pancreatic cancer developed twice as often in patients taking Victoza than in patients using a placebo. The study found 15 cases of pancreatic cancer among 4670 patients using Victoza, while only five patients developed pancreatic cancer in the similarly-sized placebo group. The risk is real, yet Novo Nordisk has done nothing to warn the public or make its product safer.
What is pancreatic cancer?
The pancreas is a six-inch long organ that lies horizontally in the lower abdomen, behind the lower part of the stomach. The pancreas releases hormones such as insulin to help your body manage blood sugar. It also releases digestive juices that help you digest food.
Pancreatic cancer starts with mutations in the DNA of the cells in the pancreas. These mutated cells can grow out of control and stay alive when ordinary cells would die. Pancreatic cancer usually starts in the lining of the ducts of the pancreas. As the cells grow, they form a tumor. Pancreatic cancer is one of the scariest forms of cancer because there are often no symptoms until the cancer has reached a fairly advanced stage. And by then, it may be too late to stop.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
- Radiating pain starting the upper abdomen and traveling to the back
- Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
- Blood clots
- Fatigue and depression
- Jaundice, or a yellow tint to the skin and whites of the eyes
If you suspect pancreatic cancer, see a doctor right away. Untreated pancreatic cancer can spread quickly to other organs and is often fatal.
Who is the most likely to be at risk?
Having diabetes already puts you at a greater risk of pancreatic cancer, but there are additional factors that can increase your risk even more:
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Family members who have had pancreatic cancer
- Being over 65
- A family history of genetic syndromes that cause an increased risk of cancer
People with risk factors can reduce their risk by quitting smoking, staying at a healthy weight and eating a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
How much money can I recover in a Victoza lawsuit?
If you or your loved one took Victoza and developed pancreatic cancer, you have a case. The manufacturer has a legal duty to make a medication that is safe, and it has failed to do that or to warn the public of the risks. That means the manufacturer is liable for any injuries caused by its profit-centered attitude.
In most drug injury cases, patients are eligible to recover the following types of costs and damages:
- Medical costs, including surgery, hospitalization and chemotherapy
- Costs for prescription drugs
- The cost of losing time from work or having to quit a job
- Pain, and the physical and emotional suffering caused by the illness
- Wrongful death, if you have lost a very close family member
Money can’t bring your life back, we know that. But we hope it can provide some comfort and financial security to you and your family as you struggle with a disease that shouldn’t have happened.
Talk to a Victoza Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit Lawyer
At John Foy & Associates, we think drugs should help you, not make you sicker, and we have the experience and resources to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the harm they’ve done. Let us give you a free consultation and show you how we can help you. There’s no charge at all unless we win money for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.