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Some medications, known as incretin mimetics, used to treat Type 2 diabetes, have come under increased scrutiny for their role in causing serious health problems, such as pancreatic cancer.

What Are Incretin Mimetics?

In healthy individuals, eating triggers the production and release of incretin hormones such as Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) into the small intestine. But people with Type 2 diabetes often do not have enough of these incretins occurring naturally in their body, and there is no effective way to provide an artificial supplement of GLP-1. The pharmaceuticals known as “GLP-1 agonists” or “incretin mimetics” — which mimic the deficient GLP-1 hormones — were developed to provide relief to those diabetic patients.

Brand names of widely-used incretin mimetics include:

  • Bydureon
  • Byetta
  • Januvia
  • Janumet
  • Onglyza
  • Victoza

Incretin Mimetics and an Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

In March 2013, the FDA began evaluating medical research that suggested there may be an increased risk of pre-cancerous cell changes and pancreatitis in patients taking incretin mimetics. 

Additionally, there are allegations that the drug manufacturers were aware of this additional risk and did not alert patients or the medical community. Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of the drug Victoza, was ordered to pay almost $60 million to both federal and state Medicaid programs after it was accused of misleading the medical community about the risks of such treatments. According to the government’s testimony, Novo Nordisk instructed their drug sales team to cover up the risks when selling the drug to doctors.

In late 2017, a federal appeals court reinstated the ability of plaintiffs to bring suit against the makers of several of these incretin mimetic drugs that had been the subject of previously dismissed lawsuits.

Get the Care and Justice You Deserve

If you or a loved one were prescribed incretin-based therapy for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. For more than 40 years, the personal injury lawyers at Brown & Crouppen have helped the victims of dangerous drugs get the justice they deserve.

It all Starts with A Free Case Evaluation from the Personal Injury Team at Brown & Crouppen

Getting started is easy. You can call us at 800-536-4357 for a free consultation, or tell us about your case with our Free Case Review form. And remember, there’s no upfront cost to you — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.


Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice can result in injury or death.

Bydureon, Byetta, Januvia, Janumet, Onglyza, and Victoza remain approved by the United States Food and Drug administration.

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