Grieving Daughter Files Onglyza Lawsuit Over Mother’s Heart Failure Death

Published on November 9, 2015 by Sandy Liebhard

A woman who lost her mother to heart failure has filed a new Onglyza lawsuit alleging that AstraZeneca’s Type 2 diabetes medication was responsible. According to a report from the Cook County Record, the Plaintiff is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages from the pharmaceutical company.

Onglyza (saxagliptin) is a DPP-4 inhibitor that was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009 to improve glycemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes. It was developed jointly by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb, but is now marketed solely by Astra Zeneca.

According to the October 29th filing in Cook County Circuit Court, the Plaintiff’s mother began taking Onglyza in 2010. In 2011, she was diagnosed with heart failure. The decedent was hospitalized twice for the condition in 2013 before she died of related complications on October 31, 2013. The Cook County Record reported that her daughter is seeking more than $50,000, plus interest, legal costs, attorney fees and punitive damages.

FDA Onglyza Heart Failure Review

The filing of this Onglyza lawsuit comes as the FDA continues to investigate a possible association between the medication and an increased risk of heart failure. The agency initially launched a safety review of Onglyza in 2014, after a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients treated with saxagliptin where 27% more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure compared to those not using the medication.

In April, the FDA asked one of its outside advisory committees to review data from the study. At the meeting’s conclusion, the panel voted 14-1 to recommend that new information about a possible increased risk of heart failure be added to the Onglyza label and other medications containing saxagliptin. One panel member actually voted to recommend that the drugs be recalled.

The FDA has yet to announce its decision regarding Onglyza and heart failure. It is not legally obligated to enact the recommendations of its advisory panels, but in most cases it does so.

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