Saxenda is a drug that helps people lose weight. However, the side effects that many people experience when they take Saxenda can be severe and even life-threatening. One of the most devastating side effects of Saxenda has been pancreatic cancer. Because the manufacturer of Saxenda, Novo Nordisk, did not include the risks of developing pancreatic cancer on the warning label for the drug, numerous people have been filing defecting drug lawsuits for their injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered pancreatic cancer after taking Saxenda, you could have a right to compensation from Novo Nordisk for their poor conduct. The defective pharmaceutical drug lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can help you recover that compensation. Here, they answer some of the most commonly asked questions they receive about Saxenda and the compensation process.
How Does Saxenda Work?
Saxenda is a drug that treats obesity by mimicking an intestinal hormone, glucagon-like peptide, or GLP-1. This hormone is released by the intestines when the stomach gets full. The release of the hormone tells the brain to stop eating. By mimicking GLP-1, Saxenda tricks the brain into eating less at every meal.
Saxenda is an injectable drug that overweight adults can use to lose weight. It is supposed to be taken alongside a healthy diet and exercise. It frequently gets prescribed to obese people who are suffering from other medical conditions because of their weight, like heart problems.
How Are Saxenda and Victoza Similar?
The active ingredient in Saxenda is the drug liraglutide. Liraglutide is also the main ingredient in the drug Victoza, which has been in use since 2010 to treat diabetes.
The connection between Saxenda and Victoza is at the heart of the lawsuits that have been filed against Novo Nordisk over Saxenda's side effects.
What Are the Serious Side Effects of Saxenda?
Like many drugs, Saxenda comes with a host of side effects. While most of them are relatively mild, there are some that are far more severe. Among the most severe is the potential for Saxenda to trigger an outburst of cell growth in the pancreas.
The pancreas is the gland near the stomach and small intestine that is responsible for releasing hormones and other enzymes during the digestive process. If cell growth in the pancreas increases from Saxenda, it can cause inflammation of the pancreas, also known as pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer.
How Do Victoza's Side Effects Play a Role in This?
Both Victoza and Saxenda rely heavily on the drug liraglutide to alter the hormone levels in the intestine and stomach. While Saxenda has only been around for a few years, Victoza has been on the market since 2010. Over that time span, researchers and medical professionals have realized that one of Victoza's severe side effects is a steep increase in the risk of developing pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Liraglutide is suspected to be the reason for the pancreatic risk.
Because both Victoza and Saxenda use liraglutide, it would make sense that Saxenda also carries that risk of pancreatic problems, including pancreatic cancer. In fact, the risks are probably even more severe, given that Saxenda uses a higher dose of liraglutide.
Were There Any Warnings About Saxenda Causing Pancreatic Cancer?
In spite of the similarities between Saxenda and Victoza, the warning label for Saxenda does not include an adequate warning about the risks of developing pancreatic cancer. Instead, the black box warning on Saxenda's warning label only mentions the potential for thyroid problems. The rest of the label mentions the potential for developing acute pancreatitis, but here is no warning at all about pancreatic cancer.
Should There Have Been a Warning About Pancreatic Cancer?
The law is vague about exactly what risks a drug company has to disclose in the warning label for its products – they just have to make reasonable warnings.
This requirement is meant to protect the public from dangerous drugs, while still allowing pharmaceutical companies to release new drugs with confidence. It allows doctors and patients to rely on warning labels and warnings to make informed healthcare decisions and weigh the pros and cons of treatment. However, drug companies frequently try to avoid making disclosures about the risks of taking their drugs because they want to make them sound as safe as possible so more people will use them.
Because Novo Nordisk knew of the risks of liraglutide causing pancreas problems from its Victoza drugs, it suggests that it would have been reasonable for them to include a warning about pancreatic cancer on its label for Saxenda.
What is the Status of Saxenda Lawsuits?
As of mid-2019, Saxenda lawsuits are only just beginning to get filed. Because Saxenda is still such a new drug, these lawsuits rely heavily on the medical research and findings that have come from the lawsuits against Novo Nordisk over pancreatic problems caused by Victoza. The lawsuits claim that because both drugs use liraglutide, the same risk for pancreatic problems must also be present in Saxenda.
As more research is done and more people get hurt by Saxenda, though, evidence will likely accumulate against Novo Nordisk that shows they should have warned people about the risks of pancreatic cancer. As more victims come forward, Saxenda lawsuits will gain steam and will likely be consolidated into a class action or a multidistrict litigation. This process, however, can take several years from start to finish.
Defective Drug Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian
The defective drug lawyers and personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian strive to represent victims who have taken a drug to help their medical condition, only to find themselves facing a new and even graver danger. Pharmaceutical companies have shown, time and time again, that they are willing to rush pills to the market without doing the proper research necessary to show the medication is safe.
A huge part of holding drug companies accountable for their profiteering is bringing them to court when they hurt innocent people. The lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can help you do that. Contact them online if you have developed pancreatic cancer to start the process of recovering the compensation you deserve.