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Public Citizen Wants Victoza Diabetes Drug Recalled

Filed April 20th, 2012 Laurie

Consumer advocates say the diabetes drug Victoza raises the risk of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, and kidney failure in patients and are pushing government regulators to remove it from the market.

The group Public Citizen sent a petition to the Food and Drug Administration saying the risks of the Novo Nordisk manufactured drug outweigh the benefits. Internal documents show the FDA approved Victoza in 2010 against the recommendation of three staff scientists. Novo Nordisk says its decision to approve Victoza was based on extensive studies involving more than 4,000 patients.

Currently, the warning label for Victoza states it is “unknown whether Victoza will cause” thyroid cancer in humans because rodent studies cannot provide conclusive evidence of human outcomes. It also suggests that people with a family history of the illness do not take the drug.

About 150,000 prescriptions for Victoza are filled each month in the U.S. Public Citizen says in the drug’s first 17 months on the market the FDA received 200 reports of patients diagnosed with pancreatitis. Since only an estimated 10 percent of cases get reported to the agency, that means as many as 2,000 cases among patients using the injectable drug.

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