Intended for healthcare professionals


Pressure mounts for companies to hand over data on antidiabetes drugs linked to pancreatic harm

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 17 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3900
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. 1BMJ

Pressure on manufacturers to release the data they hold on glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) based antidiabetes drugs is mounting after a joint BMJ and Channel 4 Dispatches investigation of unpublished data on the potential pancreatic harms in animal and human studies.1

The American Diabetes Association has asked all companies involved in the development or marketing of such drugs to make patient level data available for an independent review that could help settle the question of whether the drugs contribute to the development of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

The association’s chief scientific and medical officer, Robert Ratner, said, “People who are taking these medications or who may consider taking them should have the benefit of all that is currently known about their risks and advantages in order to make the best possible decisions about their treatment and care in consultation with their healthcare providers.”

In the United Kingdom the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK issued a statement saying, “It is important to investigate any treatment where there are concerns about an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.” The charity added, “This case certainly highlights the need to make the full trial data publicly available.”

The charity also urged European regulators to prioritise their current investigation of the drugs, to determine the need …

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