The U.S. Judiciary Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created a new product liability MDL involving over kidney-related injuries with the type 2 diabetes drug Farxiga. The 18 actions consolidated in New York are currently pending in six federal district courts and share common questions of fact that would benefit from a centralized pre-trial MDL docket, the JPML concluded.
The lawsuits, waged at the makers of Farxiga, as well as its so-called sister drug Xigduo XR, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and AstraZeneca, allege that use of the diabetes medications can cause acute kidney injury and diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition in which too much acid builds up in the blood.
Farxiga and Xigduo XR are in a class of type 2 diabetes drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors. The drug class is led by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer’s Invokana and its sister drug Invokamet. SGLT2 inhibitors work differently than other diabetes drugs in that they reduce blood sugar levels by processing excess sugar through the kidneys and excreting it through the urine.
In December, the JPML consolidated dozens of lawsuits in New Jersey federal court involving acute kidney injury and ketoacidosis risk with Invokana and Invokamet. In both the Farxiga/Xigduo XR and Invokana/Invokamet MDLs, plaintiffs allege that the drug companies failed to adequately warn patients or their doctors of the serious risks associated with use of the diabetes medications.