By Buck Daniel
May 1, 2014 – The judge managing the diabetes drug MDL has filed several orders shaping the next steps in the litigation. On Oct. 15, 2013, Judge Lloyd D. George filed an order scheduling a hearing on transferring several new cases to drugs Januvia, Byetta and Victoza pancreatic cancer MDL. This includes hearings to determine if several pending lawsuits will be transferred to the MDL. A second order was issued on Oct. 21, 2013. This order consisted of a transfer of eight individual lawsuits to the existing Januvia cancer MDL. Over 56 individual Januvia lawsuits have joined the MDL so far. The MDL is formally titled In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liabilities Litigation, MDL No. 2452, in the United States District Court for the District of California. The United States Judicial Panel for on Multidistrict Litigation is presiding over the transfers and managing certain other aspects of the case.
Januvia and related drugs work by interfering with the DPP-4 enzyme. While this can help control blood sugar, this enzyme is also involved in the suppression of tumor growth. So interfering with this enzyme may promote the growth and spread of cancer cells. Recently, this hypothetical risk has been supported by peer-reviewed studies, which indicate a link between the diabetes drugs and an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.