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Byetta mis-information

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Dennis, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Dennis

    Dennis Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Any of you who have read the latest issue of DUK's Balance magazine may have seen an article implying that treatment with Byetta carries an increased risk of pancreatitis.


    This idea originated in the US when a Lehman Bros employee (with no medical or scientific qualifications) who was researching various pharmaceutical companies track records found that 30 patients on Byetta had died from pancreatitis. It was reported to the US Food & Drug Administration who, in a knee-jerk reaction, immediately published a public health warning and insisted that the manufacturers add a warning to their product literature.

    The real facts are that the incidence of deaths from pancreatitis is 17 per 100,000 population.
    Therefore in a 700,000 population there should be 7x17 = 119 deaths.
    Amongst the 700,000 Byetta users in the US there were 30 deaths - a quarter of the expected figure.
    Further analysis of the 30 deaths has shown that 27 of them had one or more risk factors that are commonly associated with pancreatitis (alcohol abuse, gallstones).

    Although not a claim made by the manufacturers, the above figures seem to indicate that patients who take Byetta are actually at far lower risk of pancreatitis than those who are not fortunate enough to be on Byetta.

    Just goes to show - believe nothing that you hear, and very little of what you see, particularly if you see it in a DUK publication!
  2. Trinkwasser

    Trinkwasser · Well-Known Member

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    I wonder whether the cost of Byetta has anything to do with this? No, can't be . . .

    . . . on a general point, while it's often true that drug companies are somewhat prone to burying genuine problems which may affect their profits, this gives the opportunity for cranks and pressure groups (cf. $cientologists) to twist facts in the opposite direction. All drugs are going to give problems to some people, the real answer if to find out who these "some" are and not give them the drug without affecting its availability to everyone else.

    No I'm not holding my breath either.
  3. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    If it's an instruction to "eat plenty of complex carbs ". Then the danger is that if it's repeated often enough, like Dettol it becomes FACT
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