One of the best known drugs for the treatment of diabetes, used by millions of sufferers around the world, it may contain carcinogenic substances. Merck Co. sounded the alarm and said it detected contamination in some samples and immediately reported it to federal regulators. The US Food and Drug Administration, in turn, has issued a statement, urging patients not to stop taking the medicine. “The popular diabetes drug Januvia – the FDA said – it may contain traces of a probable carcinogen, but patients should continue to use the drug because it could be dangerous to stop taking it ”.
In the medicine, known generically by the name Sitagliptinhave been important traces of Nitroso-STG-19 (NTTP) detected. “We remain confident in the safety, efficacy and quality of our Sitagliptin-containing medicines,” the pharmaceutical company reiterated. New York Times. “NTTP – stated the FDA – belongs to the class of nitrosamine compounds and some of these are classified as probable or possible human carcinogens based on laboratory tests “.
But the Januvia case is not an isolated case. “In recent years – highlights the Times – these compounds have been found in numerous medications, including the heartburn drug Zantac, the antibiotic Rifampicin (used to treat tuberculosis and meningitis) and the smoking cessation drug Chantix.
To calculate exposure limits for patients, the FDA used available information on nitrosamine compounds and determined that the substance is present in the medicine. Januvia has a “minimal” additional risk of cancer compared to a lifetime of NTTP exposure. To date, Januvia is the third most profitable drug produced by Merck. Alone, analysts of the Timesgenerates annual revenues of just over $ 5 billion.