European Medicines Agency (EMA) is investigating the potential link between a widely used group of diabetes drugs and pancreatic disease in people with type 2 diabetes.
The investigation comes in response to studies that found an elevated risk of hospitalisation due to acute pancreatitis, a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed, and signs of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous pancreatic cellular changes in tissue samples from type 2 diabetes patients who had been treated with glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 based medication .
Information provided by the researchers is now being closely examined by the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use and Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee to reassess their safety and decide whether regulatory action is needed.
According to the regulator, concerns of potential pancreatic effects of GLP-1 based therapies were first raised during their initial evaluation for marketing authorisatio, while “rare cases of pancreatitis” among users have been reported.
Despite this, GLP-1 based drugs have become widely used third-line options for patients with type 2 diabetes since being approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Recommendations for the use of these injectable treatments remain the samen, the EMA stressed, adding that GPs and other healthcare professionals should continue to prescribe them in accordance with the product information.

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