Diabetes Drug Invokana is Linked to Serious Illnesses
As Virginia based injury lawyers who help people who have been hurt by prescription medications, we see new dangerous drugs regularly appear on the market.
Although the big drug companies can face recalls and action from the Food and Drug Administration, they don’t care because they are making so much money from these drugs. It’s often easier for them to pay fines than do the necessary research to ensure patients are protected.
One of the newest drugs to be linked to a serious medical condition is Johnson & Johnson’s blockbuster Invokana which is used by diabetics. If you have diabetes you may already be wary about prescription medications. The diabetes drug Actos has been linked to bladder cancer, and it currently the subject of numerous lawsuits.
Recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Invokana may cause a serious condition that may land people who take it in the hospital.
Invokana (canaglifozin) works by causing blood sugar to leave the body in urine. The drug has been linked to a condition called ketoacidosis that occurs when the body produces too many acids called ketones.
Invokana is one of a class of Type 2 diabetes drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors. The FDA’s warning said these drugs can cause a condition that includes vomiting, nausea, breathing problems, confusion, abdominal pain and unusual levels of fatigue or sleepiness. The FDA urges patients who are have taken these drugs and are suffering from these symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.
The FDA said it has received about 20 cases of ketoacidosis and all of these patients were hospitalized.. Most patients took the drug for about rwo weeks before symptoms appeared.
Other medications in the same class could also pose a health risk including Glyxambi from Lilly, AstraZeneca’s Farxiga and Xigduo and Jardiance.
“We are continuing to investigate this safety issue and will determine whether changes are needed in the prescribing information for this class of drugs,” the FDA said in recent announcement.
There is also evidence that the drug company is pushing this drug hard. A common practice among big drug companies is to pay doctors to push drug brands. Invokana made the top four of the list in terms of money spent marketing.
Recently ProPublica, a public interest website, stated J&J spent over $7 million from August to December 2013 on speaking fees for doctors and related spending to support the drug’s marketing. J&J spent a staggering $4 million on speaking fees, $2 million on meals and drinks for doctors and about $900,000 for so called “consulting fees.”
It also spent $16 million to advertise in medical journals.
The campaign is made Invokana the most lucrative drug in its class. Sadly money rather than a risk analysis of a drug counts in the pharmaceutical world, meaning doctors may not always be prescribing the drug that’s in the best interest of patients.
Given that the FDA issued its warning this year, lawsuits over Invokana and other drugs such as Jardiance are relatively recent. However, it’s never too early to file a lawsuit and there are advantages to being in the vanguard of legal action. If you have been harmed by this drug or a similar diabetes drug, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation.