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Byetta does not raise pancreatitis risk, according to claims data

Executive Summary

Analysis of a UnitedHealth Group transaction database found the risk of acute pancreatitis among incretin-based diabetes therapies - Amylin/Lilly's Byetta (exenatide) and Merck's Januvia (sitagliptin) - to be similar to that associated with metformin and glyburide, both agents with established safety profiles. The study, which was sponsored by Amylin and published in Current Medical Research and Opinion March 12, concluded that more comprehensive pharmaco-epidemiology studies are needed to more fully assess the risk. A safety alert from FDA in August 2008 regarding two fatal cases of pancreatitis in Byetta patients sparked a decline in sales, although analysts suggested that nausea associated with initiation of Byetta treatment may be the bigger impediment (1"The Pink Sheet," Feb. 2, 2009, p. 33)

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