The number of people living with diabetes still continues to increase in America. In 2011 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published an article stating that there were almost 26 million Americans living with diabetes; most of them are type 2. They also stated that 79 million adults have pre-diabetes; a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes. There are many factors that could put an individual at risk for developing this form of the disease. Family history of the illness, age, being overweight, having gestational diabetes (diabetes that occurs during pregnancy), not enough physical activity, and diet are some of the contributing causes.
With type 2 diabetes the body continuously loses its ability to produce insulin. One of the treatments that is available and being used to lower blood sugar levels is Victoza, however it has shown to have serious side effects and health risks. This drug puts the patients at higher risk for pancreatitis, thyroid cancer, and possible kidney failure. There is also a concern about the unknown risks to the heart as in cardiovascular occurrences including myocardial infarction, and/or stroke. The danger that this medication potentially has, is not outweighed by its modest ability to lower blood sugar levels.
This is a critical warning for patients who have diabetes and may be taking the drug Victoza, the name brand for liraglutide.
Public Citizen, a nonprofit organization, is an advocate for the citizens of our nation. They have filed a petition with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Public Citizen’s reasoning for the petition was to request that the FDA pull the drug off the market. This is because Victoza has failed to show significant advantages to taking the drug, and continues to show potential serious harm. For more detailed information included in this petition read further.
The clinical safety reviewer, Dr. Karen Mahoney, said, “The clinical safety reviewer does not recommend approval of liraglutide at this time … In the United States, there are already 11 classes of drugs approved for glycemic control in type 2 diabetes … The need for new therapies for type 2 diabetes is not so urgent that one must tolerate a significant degree of uncertainty regarding serious risk concerns.”
If you are one of the patients currently taking Victoza, you may want to ask your physician if there is a drug that you can take with less risk and side effects. Over 150,000 prescriptions for this medication are filled each month; patients have the right to know about the medication they are taking.