Diabetes Drug Lawsuit

The field of diabetes treatment has exploded in the recent past and many new diabetes medications have been approved in a short period of time. Several of these medications have already been linked to serious harm and have been discontinued but other potentially harmful diabetes drugs are still being marketed. Patients who experience severe side effects from diabetes medications may require hospitalization with costly and extensive medical treatments or may be at risk of death.

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Why Are There Diabetes Drug Lawsuits?

Antidiabetic drugs have been linked to serious side effects and health risks, leading many of the affected patients to file lawsuits against manufacturers. Medical injury lawsuits have been filed for costs associated with medical treatments, lost wages, future medical treatments, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.

Why Have Plaintiffs Filed Diabetes Drug Lawsuits?

A number of new diabetes drug classes have been discovered, developed and approved over a short period of time. Unfortunately, a lot of these approved antidiabetic drugs may have caused adverse side effects in health risks and patients such as heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure, cancer, and even death. 

Lawsuits have claimed that many of the manufacturers of these drugs, such as Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk and others, knew that these drugs may cause harm to patients, but failed to adequately warn patients and medical professionals. 

Which Diabetes Medications Are Associated With Lawsuits?

There are a number of new diabetes drug classes that have been introduced in recent years.

Current classes of antidiabetic medications include: 

  • Biguanides
  • Sodium-Glucose Co-transporter Type 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors or Gliflozins
  • Thiazolidinedione (TZD) or Glitazones
  • Glinides or Meglatinides
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV (DPP-4) Inhibitors or Gliptins
  • Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitors
  • Glucagon-like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Agonists or Incretins
  • Insulins

What Diabetes Drug Lawsuit Settlements Have There Been?

Over the years, there have been many lawsuits against a multitude of diabetes drugs. Since there are so many named diabetes drugs on the market, there are thousands of dollars in settlements across the nation. 

For Incretin Mimetic drugs (Byetta, Bydureon, and Victoza), there have been lawsuit settlements from manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, and Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk alone paid almost $60 million dollars, with the other settlement amounts being undisclosed. 

Other notable settlements include Thousands of lawsuits filed against the manufacturer of Actos resulting in $2.5 billion in settlements, including one settlement for $9 million. As well as over 50,000 Avandia lawsuits settle for more than $2.3 billion by 2013. 

What Diabetes Drug Lawsuits Are There?

As of 2023, there are no active lawsuits against manufacturers for adverse effects caused by diabetes drugs. 

What Is Diabetes?

Insulin is required for the body to transport glucose or sugar from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be used as energy. Diabetes is usually considered to be a life-long, incurable disease in which insulin is not produced or does not work, and which causes blood sugar to rise. Untreated diabetes can lead to many health risks and medical problems, including kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. 

What Kinds of Diabetes Are There?

The two common types of diabetes are Type 1, previously known as “insulin dependent diabetes” which often develops in childhood as “juvenile diabetes”, and Type 2 diabetes, previously known as “non-insulin dependent diabetes”. 

What Is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 is an disorder in which the cells of the pancreas do not work. It may be caused by an immune system malfunction which has attacked the cells which normally release insulin. This can lead to the body no longer creating insulin, causing glucose to build up in the blood. 

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes and the type that is treated with the drugs commonly associated with lawsuits. In Type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but levels may be inadequate or the body becomes resistant to it. Insulin may gradually stop working, causing glucose to build in the blood over time. 

What Are Diabetes Drugs?

There are a number of different drugs that are used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

A list of common antidiabetic drugs include: 

  • Biguanides
  • Sulfonylureas
  • Glinides
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • DPP-4 Inhibitors
  • GLP-1 Receptor Agonists
  • SGLT2 Inhibitors

How Do Antidiabetic Drugs Work?

Different drugs work in different ways to treat Type 2 diabetes. 

How Does Metformin Work?

Metformin is a biguanide which works by helping restore the body’s response to insulin by making the cells more sensitive to it. It can also decrease the amount of blood sugar that the liver produces and that the intestines or stomach absorb. 

How Do Sulonylureas Work?

Sulfonylureas work by binding the SRU subunit of the ATP-sensitive potassium channel in the cells and inducing channel closure, which stimulates insulin release from the pancreas.

How Do Glinides Work?

Glinides work similarly to Sulfonylureas by stimulating the pancreatic beta cells to produce more insulin for the body.

How Do Thiazolidinediones Work?

TZDs work by binding to a protein in cells to activate genes and create new proteins that reduce insulin resistance. Similar to Metformin, it causes the cells to become more sensitive. 

How Do DPP-4 Inhibitors Work?

DPP-4 Inhibitors work by blocking the action of DPP-4, an enzyme that destroys the hormone incretin. Incretin works to stimulate insulin production, so by blocking DPP-4 actions which destroy incretin, more insulin can be produced, lowering the glucose level in the blood. 

How Do GLP-1 Receptor Agonists Work?

GLP-1 Receptor Agonists are another name for incretins or incretin mimetics which work by stimulating insulin to release from the pancreas. 

How Do SGLT Inhibitors Work?

SGLT Inhibitors work by reducing renal tubular glucose reabsorption in the kidneys, producing a reduction in blood glucose levels without stimulating insulin release. This works to help the body excrete excess glucose in the urine. 

Who Created Diabetes Drugs?

There are a wide range of diabetes drugs and a long history of diabetes treatment in America. The most common manufacturers of diabetes drugs are big corporations such as Novo Nordisk, Merck & Co., Inc., AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Bayer. 

What Are Diabetes Drugs Prescribed To Treat?

Diabetes drugs are used to stimulate insulin production, increase sensitivity to insulin or reduce the blood glucose levels in the body.  

What Are the Side Effects of Diabetes Drugs?

Each drug may have side effects that may be different from other medications. It’s important to ask your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider about these side effects. 

What Are the Common Side Effects of Diabetes Drugs?

Common side effects experienced by many common diabetic drugs may include: 

  • Low blood sugar
  • Upset stomach
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Weight gain
  • Gas
  • Bloating and diarrhea 

What Are the Adverse Side Effects of Diabetes Drugs?

Some of the more serious side effects of the most common diabetic drugs may include: 

  • Ketoacidosis
  • Lacoacidosis
  • Severe UTIs
  • Kidney failure
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Liver failure
  • Bone fractures
  • Amputation
  • Dialysis 
  • Death

What Are the FDA’s Warnings About Diabetes Drugs?

In 2016, a safety announcement was issued by the FDA for type-2 diabetes medications containing saxagliptin and alogliptin. These drugs (Onglyza, Kombiglyze, Nesina, Kazano, and Oseni) may have been associated with an increase in heart failure, especially in patients who have heart disease or kidney disease. 

Another warning was released in 2016 about Metformin-containing medications. The FDA required labeling changes to state that medications containing metformin are not advised for use in patients who already have reduced kidney function. 

Are Diabetes Drugs Still on the Market?

Despite some corporations like Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca and others taking some troublesome diabetes medications of of the market, many diabetes drugs are still available. Patients should work with their health care providers to determine which diabetes medication is may be useful and if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA. 


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