There’s a new double-barrel danger pointed right at those with type 2 diabetes.
The FDA just approved another diabetes drug, one called Xultophy. However it’s pronounced, it’s a two-headed monster that should never have been allowed on the market.
And there’s a back story behind this twofer med, one that you need to know about before you set foot in your doctor’s office.
Xultophy is part of a new pharma trend: take two risky meds, put them together and get a whole new drug to push (and a brand new patient!).
But the two meds that make up Xultophy have a dark history. One that Novo Nordisk probably hopes will somehow just disappear.
One part of Xultophy is none other than Victoza. That’s a type 2 med that’s part of the GLP-1 gang of diabetes drugs that have been ringing alarm bells for years now because of their link to pancreatic cancer.
Three years ago researchers from UCLA and the University of Florida College of Medicine found abnormal cell growth in the pancreases autopsied from diabetics taking these GLP-1 meds. They also found small “glandular tumors” all throughout the organs they examined.
And apparently these abnormal findings weren’t just because the people were diabetic, because no abnormal cell growth was found in diabetics who were not taking these meds.
On top of that, several years ago the consumer group Public Citizen tried every which way to get Victoza banned. It even sent a petition to the FDA asking that the med be immediately pulled from pharmacy shelves because of its off-the-charts risk of acute pancreatitis.
While the FDA added a black box warning last year on Victoza saying it causes thyroid tumors, it’s still on the market and selling like hotcakes. No surprise there!
Then there’s the second half of Xultophy, a newer diabetes drug called Tresiba, one that we were told several years ago could be a heart attack in a syringe.
Tresiba was actually rejected by the FDA three years ago — and we know that doesn’t happen very often!
As I warned you last year, the agency was worried that Tresiba could significantly up your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. The FDA advisory panel voted 12-0 against considering it for approval before more heart studies were done.
But in a move that was even bizarre for the FDA, it somehow took a batch of incomplete data on a trial Novo was conducting on Tresiba, gave it the big green stamp of approval and declared the drug safe as mom’s apple pie.
One diabetes expert called it massaging the statistics “until the problem magically disappears!”
Well, for diabetics, the problems haven’t disappeared one bit. Because now they’ve got an even deadlier duo to contend with in the form of Xultophy.
With a list of recently-approved diabetes drugs that’s getting longer all the time, it may look as if there are lots of safe choices available to doctors when picking out which med a patient should start up on.
But in reality, that’s not the case.
I told you over a year ago how the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices found that compared to older treatments for type 2 diabetes like metformin, your risk of developing pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer is 25 times higher when taking a GLP-1 drug such as Victoza.
And as far as the real heart risk of taking Tresiba goes, that’s something that millions of unpaid, unofficial test patients will soon be finding out.
Of course, now that Novo has finally managed to get both of those risky meds together in one shot, all bets are off as to which one might be more dangerous.
“New diabetes drug OK’d” Reuters, November 22, 2016, Newsmax, newsmax.com