Although the latest warning from the FDA regarding drugs like Byetta and Januvia only came in March 2013, the dangers have been known for many years. The recent information released by the FDA that researchers have found pre-cancerous cells in deceased patients using the drugs came after several previous warnings dating back to 2007. Although the FDA has yet to confirm the link between these drugs and pancreatic cancer, many believe that it is only a matter of time.
Bad News From The Beginning
Byetta still had that new-drug smell when reports began trickling in that patients using the drug were having a higher incidence of pancreatitis. The FDA approved Byetta in 2005 and by 2007, the first FDA alert was issued that patients using the drug had reported to the FDA that they had pancreatitis. The next year, another alert was issued, with reports of patients dying from the disease.