A 2016 analysis suggests that Stelara may be associated with a much greater risk of cancer compared to other immunosuppressant drugs used to treat psoriasis. Filing a Stelara lawsuit may be an option for individuals who were diagnosed with cancer following treatment with this medication.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is providing free legal reviews to individuals who developed cancer during or following treatment with Stelara. If you would like to learn more about filing a Stelara lawsuit, please call (888) 994-5118.
Stelara (ustekinumab) is an interleukin 12/23 inhibitor currently approved to treat:
All of these disorders are thought to be associated with an overactive immune system. Stelara blocks the action of IL-12 and IL-23, two proteins that may play a role in inflammation. Stelara is the only approved drug with this immunosuppressant mechanism of action.
All immunosuppressant drugs are thought to increase the risk of cancer. However, in 2016 the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) conducted an analysis of adverse events reported to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in relation to Stelara and other psoriasis drugs. The findings suggested that patients who took Stelara faced an even higher risk of cancer compared to those using other medications.
According to the analysis, the rate of cancer among patients using Stelara was 15 times higher than those taking another psoriasis treatment called Otezla, which does not have an immunosuppressant effect. By contrast, patients using another class of immunosuppressant drugs called TNF blockers (Enbrel, Remicade and Humira) were only five times more likely to develop cancer compared to Otezla users.
“The cancer signal for ustekinumab was stronger when the psoriasis cases were adjusted for differences in age and gender with an odds ratio of 18.2,” the ISMP report notes. “However, the adjusted estimated excluded numerous cases where age or gender was not reported and therefore assesses smaller amounts of data.”
Janssen, the manufacturer of Stelara, said it disagreed with the ISMP’s assessment. While it acknowledged that the drug’s label includes a warning about a theoretical risk of malignancy, the company maintained that it does not believe “any events have been causally associated with the use of [ustekinumab].”
Individuals who developed cancer that could be linked to treatment with Stelara may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To get in touch with an attorney who can assist with filing a Stelara lawsuit, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP by calling (888) 994-5118.
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