Definition - What does Januvia/Janumet mean?

Produced by pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Januvia and Janumet are class II diabetic drugs known as incretin mimics. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006, Januvia (sitagliptin) quickly became one of the most popular diabetic medications on the market. The next year the FDA approved another iteration of the drug called Janumet, which includes both drugs sitagliptin and metformin.

Merck & Co., continues to have exclusive patent rights for Januvia until 2022 and is expected to make millions of dollars in sales, a number likely to increase over the next seven years as more and more individuals are diagnosed with type II diabetes.

Recently, lawsuits have been filed against Merck and Co., claiming that the company failed in their duty to produce, manufacture, and sell safe products. Specifically, the company failed to adequately warn users of the risk of Januvia and Junumet. It is also alleged that they failed in their duty to notify doctors about monitoring the changes in the pancreas, and they refused to issue a recall when they knew the risks of the drugs outweighed the benefits.

Justipedia explains Januvia/Janumet

Both Januvia and Janumet contain sitagliptin, which works in conjunction with the pancreas to control glucose in the body, a hormone which works with the pancreas to increase the level of insulin in an individual’s blood.

Unfortunately, although incretin mimics such as Januvia and Janumet may have some benefits, researchers report certain patients, who used these medications, may have an increased risk of developing acute pancreatitis.

After concerns were raised that the diabetic drugs Januvia and Junumet may increase the risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in some users, the FDA issued a warning and conducted a safety review of the two medications.

The FDA studies indicated these drugs may be associated with an increased risk of pancreatitis and an inflammation of the pancreas, as well as an increase in the level of certain pre-cancerous cells called pancreatic duct metaplasia.

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